Incidental parenchymal magnetic resonance imaging findings in the brains of patients with neurofibromatosis type 2

Wendy S. Vargas, Linda A. Heier, Fausto Rodriguez, Amanda Bergner, Kaleb Yohay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose Whereas T2 hyperintensities known as NF-associated bright spots are well described in patients with neurofibromatosis type I (NF-1), there is a paucity of data on incidental findings in patients with neurofibromatosis type II (NF-2). We aim to characterize unexplained imaging findings in the brains of patients with NF-2. Materials and methods This study is retrospective, HIPAA-compliant and approved by the institutional review board. 34 patients with NF-2 underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between January 2000 and December 2012. T2 and T1-weighted imaging characteristics, diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) characteristics, and enhancement patterns were analyzed by visual inspection. Clinical information at time of imaging was available for all patients. Neuropathologic data was available for one patient. Results We found unexplained T2 hyperintensities present on initial imaging in 23/34 patients (67%). Of the 23 patients with unexplained MRI findings, 15 (65%) had wedge-shaped T2 hyperintensities in the subcortical white matter extending to the cortex suggestive of a cortical dysplasia. 3 additional cases (17%) had a lesion within the cerebellum suggestive of a neuronal migration anomaly. In one patient where the MRI was suggestive of focal cortical dysplasia, histopathologic analysis revealed dysplastic glial foci without other alterations of cortical architecture or other cytologic abnormalities. Conclusion Unexplained T2 hyperintensities occur frequently in patients with NF-2. While they may not be the NF-2 equivalent of NF-associated bright spots seen in NF-1, some of these T2 hyperintensities in patients with NF-2 may represent underlying disorders of neuronal migration. Further studies are needed to validate our findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cortical dysplasia
  • MRI
  • Micro-hamartomas
  • Migration anomalies
  • NF-associated bright spots
  • Neurofibromatosis type 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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