Cerebral microhaemorrhage

Cerebral microhaemorrhages, or microbleeds, are small focal cerebral haemorrhages, often only visible susceptibility weighted MRI sequences.

Cerebral microhaemorrhages are best seen on susceptibility weighted T2* sequences such as gradient echo (GRE), and susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI).

They appear as conspicuous punctate regions of signal drop out with blooming artifact. This blooming grossly overestimates the size of the lesions, and they are usually inapparent on other sequences. As such the sometimes used definition of 5 mm or less in size is difficult as it is sequence dependent, and should not be applied to susceptibility weighted sequences. 

  • artificial heart valve metallic emboli (very rare)
  • pneumocephalus (very rare without proceeding surgery) 2
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Article information

rID: 4560
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Microbleeds
  • Cerebral microhemorrhages
  • Cerebral microbleeds

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: cerebral amyloid angiopathy
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    Case 2: chronic hypertension
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    Case 3: radiotherapy
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    Case 4: cavernous malformations
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    Case 5: cerebral fat embolism
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    Case 6: diffuse axonal injury
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