Sunburst sign (meningioma)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 18 Apr 2019

The sunburst sign refers to the characteristic vascular supply seen in some meningiomas when seen from the side (tangential to the dural attachment). It is the result of the same phenomenon which results in the spoke wheel pattern of vessels (viewed in cross-section, parallel to dural attachment). 

The vascular supply of meningiomas is often both dural and pial. Pial branches usually supply the innermost part of the tumor but arterial feeders to the pedicle at the site of dural attachment and center of the lesion typically arise from branches of the external carotid artery and in particular middle meningeal artery.

The feeder arterial branches diverge radially into the lesion; this gives the appearance of a sunburst on T2-weighted or post contrast images, or during angiography.


Sunburst sign may also refer to: 

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Cases and figures

  • Sunburst (photo)
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  • Case1: sunburst appearance of flow voids
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