Drop metastases to the pediatric spine revealed with diffusion-weighted MR imaging

Laura L. Hayes*, Richard A. Jones, Susan Palasis, Dolly Aguilera, David A. Porter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Identifying drop metastases to the spine from pediatric brain tumors is crucial to treatment and prognosis. MRI is currently the gold standard for identifying drop metastases, more sensitive than CSF cytology, but imaging is not uncommonly inconclusive. Although diffusion? weighted imaging (DWI) of the brain is very useful in the evaluation of hypercellular tumors, DWI of the spine has not been clinically useful in children because of susceptibility artifacts and lack of spatial resolution. A new technique, readout-segmented echo planar imaging (EPI), has improved these images, allowing for identification of hypercellular drop metastases. We report a case that illustrates the utility of spine DWI in the detection of metastatic disease in children with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors. This case suggests that DWI of the spine with readout-segmented EPI should be included in the evaluation for drop metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1013
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric radiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • MRI
  • Readout-segmented EPI
  • Spine tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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