Board Review 2 – Case 19

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows a trauma patient with disruption of the arch of C1 on a CT of the cervical spine. There are injuries to both the anterior and posterior arch.

After presentation, the patient developed posterior fossa symptoms such as nausea and vertigo

The diagnosis is: Jefferson fracture with vertebral artery injury

A number of fractures in the neck have eponyms, and the Jefferson fracture is when the arch of C1 is fractured. It commonly involves injury to both the anterior and posterior arch, although this isn’t a requirement.

After high energy trauma, it is common to have injury to arteries in the neck, so it is important to consider this if a patient develops new symptoms. This patient had a traumatic wall injury of the left vertebral artery which is demonstrated on a T1 weighted fat saturated image of the neck, which showed T1 hyperintense methemoglobin in the wall.

Traumatic arterial injury is often graded using the Denver grading scale, which is as follows:

  • Grade I – < 25% narrowing
  • Grade II – > 25% narrowing or dissection flap
  • Grade III – pseudoaneurysm
  • Grade IV – occlusion
  • Grade V – transection/active extravasation

Injury can be evaluated with either CTA (more common) or MRA.

Board Review 2 – Case 16

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows a mass within the spinal canal of the upper thoracic spine. For any spinal canal mass, your first step is to determine if it is:

  • intramedullary (in the spinal cord)
  • intradural extramedullary (inside the dura, but outside the spinal cord)
  • extradural

This mass appears to be extramedullary but intradural. The main differential considerations are meningioma, nerve sheath tumor/schwannoma, or metastasis. This mass has a relatively benign appearance and enhances avidly and homogenously.

The diagnosis is: meningioma

Spinal meningiomas are extramedullary masses that share an imaging appearance with intracranial meningiomas. They are often homogenous and enhance avidly. They can have calcification. The treatment, if symptomatic, is surgical resection.

Board Review 2 – Case 15

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows a trauma patient who had a significant fall and now has lower extremity symptoms. On the MRI, there are a few compression fractures that you can see, but in addition there is T1 hyperintense fluid in the dorsal epidural space. In the setting of trauma, this is likely to be an epidural hematoma.

The diagnosis is: fracture with spinal epidural hematoma

Epidural hematoma is a dreaded complication of spine trauma that can cause worsening cord injury. It requires close monitoring and possibly surgical drainage if this may improve the symptoms. Look for intraspinal fluid collections after trauma, as they can be hard to identify.

Board Review 2 – Case 13

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows an aggressive lesion of the upper thoracic spine in a relatively young patient. It appears to be centered in the posterior elements of the upper thoracic spine. There is central osseous matrix formation as well as a surrounding soft tissue mass with adjacent bone destruction. This is causing significant narrowing of the spinal canal.

The diagnosis is: osteosarcoma

In this case, you know you are dealing with an aggressive mass because of the soft tissue component and bone destruction. The differential includes primary bone lesions, metastatic disease, and lymphoma, but because of the new bone formation (osteoid matrix), it suggests osteosarcoma.

Board Review Cases – Spine

This playlist is a collection of only the spine imaging board review cases on this site.

These cases are geared towards preparation for the radiology resident ABR core exam, although similar material is used for the ABR certifying exam general and neuroradiology sections as well as neuroradiology CAQ. The format of this playlist is case-based. Each case consists of a series of images followed by 1 or 2 questions. The first question is usually to name the diagnosis, while the second is a multiple choice question to test deeper understanding of the specific condition. Try to get the diagnosis before you see the second questions.

 

Board Review 2 – Case 12

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows multiple images throughout the body, with initial emphasis on the lumbar spine, where there is destruction of a lumbar vertebral body and surrounding abscess and inflammatory changes of the adjacent disc. There is relative sparing of the lumbar discs.

There is also disease elsewhere in the body, including an osseous lesion in a left-sided rib, ground glass and tree-in-bud nodules in the lungs, and nodular enhancing lesions in the brain. This makes you think about some sort of systemic process.

The diagnosis is: spinal tuberculosis

Spinal tuberculosis is a serious disease which can cause a discitis-osteomyelitis. The classic teaching, although it may not be true, is that the disease will spare the intervertebral discs. Other things to consider in the differential are metastatic disease and other infections.

Board Review 2 – Case 11

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows MRI imaging from a relatively normal study of the lumbar spine. However, upon closer inspection, it is clear that there is a heterogenous mass in the right kidney.

The diagnosis is: renal cell carcinoma

Masses in the kidney can be a missed source of pain, and it is important to look for incidental findings. Plus, your board exam will not necessarily tell you which topic you are dealing with. Radiologists are most commonly sued because of failure to diagnose, so be careful.

Board Review 2 – Case 10

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows a relatively homogeneous mass of the cervical spine replacing several vertebral bodies. There is involvement of the adjacent soft tissues, epidural space, and posterior elements.

The differential diagnosis for this mass is lymphoma, myeloma, and metastatic disease. Given young age of the patient, myeloma and metastatic disease are less likely, although possible.

The diagnosis is: lymphoma.

Board Review 2 – Case 9

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

More description and the answer (spoiler!) are seen below the video.

This case shows narrowing of the thecal sac in the lower lumbar spine due to a cystic lesion that is in the dorsal epidural space just to the left of the midline. There is minimal surrounding abnormal enhancement.

The diagnosis is: synovial cyst

Synovial cysts, along with bursal cysts from the spinous processes, are cystic lesions which can cause canal narrowing. These can be treated with minimally invasive rupture versus surgical resection.

Board Review 2 – Introduction

Neuroradiology board review. This lecture is geared towards the ABR core exam for residents, but it would be useful for review for the ABR certifying exam or certificate of added qualification (CAQ) exam for neuroradiology.

This video is a brief introduction before beginning the case style review.

Introduction to Neuroradiology Board Review: Part 2