MRI susceptibility artefact due to dry hair shampoo

Case contributed by Dr Chris O'Donnell


Chronic headache. Artefact on MRI scan. Patient sent home to wash hair and returned for repeat imaging.

Patient Data

Age: 45 years
Gender: Female

Susceptibility artifact in the left anterior scalp that disappears after the hairwash.  Similar artifact associated with falcine ossification remains unchanged.

The artifact is no longer present.

Case Discussion

Dry shampoo is used to remove grease from unwashed hair and contains:

  • cornstarch: to bind fatty acids
  • kaolin: to absorb grease
  • Laminaria saccharina extract: anti-clumping agent to reduce caking of the corn starch and kaolin
  • magnesium stearate: also an anticlumping agent
  • denatured alcohol: solvent for the cornstarch and kaolin
  • liquefied petroleum gas: propellant for the spray can

The kaolin, cornstarch and magnesium can all cause artefact due to local magnetic field distortion, most prominently seen on the echo-planar sequences, i.e. DWI and SWI.

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Case information

rID: 53559
Published: 23rd May 2017
Last edited: 16th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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