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Eur Radiol. 2012 Mar;22(3):506-13. doi: 10.1007/s00330-011-2286-0. Epub 2011 Oct 8.

Patterns in early diffusion-weighted MRI in children with haemolytic uraemic syndrome and CNS involvement.

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Institute of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Neuroradiology, Hannover Medical School, 30623 Hannover, Germany.



Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in children with diarrhoea associated haemolytic uraemic syndrome (D+HUS) and cerebral involvement was evaluated retrospectively.


DWI within 24 h of onset of neurological symptoms. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was measured in grey/white matter and correlated with clinical and laboratory findings.


DWI was abnormal in all. Abnormal ADC was detected in the supratentorial white matter (6/12) and cortex (1/12), the basal ganglia (5/12), the thalami (4/12), and the cerebellum (1/12). ADC was reduced in 5/12, increased in 4/12, and both in 3/12. Mean serum sodium was lower in patients with DWI abnormalities affecting the white matter (6/12), than in those with basal ganglia/thalamic involvement (6/12). Neurological outcome was normal in 4/11 and abnormal in 7/11, and 1 patient died, outcome did not correlate to either localisation or type of DWI abnormality.


In D+HUS with neurological symptoms, early DWI may reveal abnormal ADC not only in the basal ganglia/thalami, but also in the white matter/cortex. Besides thrombotic microangiopathy, toxic effects of shiga toxin, azotaemia and hyponatraemia / hypoosmolality may be involved in cerebral involvement in children with D+HUS. Findings on early MRI seem not to predict clinical course or outcome.


• DWI MR imaging may detect early CNS involvement in haemolytic uraemic syndrome • Different pathogenetical mechanisms may contribute to the CNS disease in HUS • Early MRI findings do not seem to allow prediction of clinical outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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