Acta Academiae Medicinae Sinica

Acta Academiae Medicinae Sinica

Acta Academiae Medicinae Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 501-509.doi: 10.3881/j.issn.1000-503X.10593

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features and Their Pathological Mechanisms of Hashimoto’s Encephalopathy

YANG Shuai1, WANG Xiaoyi1, LIAO Weihua1, XIAO Haiqing2, ZHOU Gaofeng1, HU Ping1, PENG Xianjing1   

  1. 1Department of Radiology,Xiangya Hospital,Central South University,Changsha 410008,China
    2 Department of Radiology,the Third Hospital of Changsha,Changsha 410000,China
  • Received:2018-06-04 Online:2018-08-30 Published:2018-09-08
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China(81671676)


Objective To analyze the routine and functional magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) features and their potential pathological mechanisms of Hashimoto’s encephalopathy(HE). Methods The clinical data and routine and functional MRI images of 30 HE patients who were treated in our center from January 2010 to April 2017 were retrospectively reviewed. Among them,15 patients were examined with contrast-enhanced MRI,16 with diffusion-weighed imaging(DWI),8 with magnetic resonance angiography,2 with magnetic resonance spectroscopy,and 1 with both arterial spin labeled perfusion imaging and diffusion tensor imaging. Seven patients had consecutive clinical and imaging data. The distribution,MRI signals,and functional MRI features of HE were analyzed. Results Among 30 HE patients,routine MRI showed negative results in 8 cases and abnormal findings in 22 cases. Among 22 abnormal cases,9 were characterized by small cerebral vascular disease and 13 had non-specific abnormalities;of these 13 cases,12 had lesions mainly located at the supratentorial white matter,11 had multiple lesions,and 2 had lesions complicated with cerebellum atrophy. The lesions were focal or confluent,punctate or small patchy,showing abnormal signal intensity with iso-or hypo-intensity on T1-weighed imaging,hyper-intensity on both T2-weighed imaging and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery. Most of the lesions had no enhancement(12/15). Among 7 cases with abnormalities on DWI,hyper-intensity on DWI and hypo-intensity on apparent diffusion coefficient were seen in 3 sudden acute cases and hyper-intensity on DWI and increased apparent diffusion coefficient value in 4 sub-acute or slow onset cases. Three cases showed localized intracranial artery stenosis. In 2 cases,magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed significant lower N-acetylaspartate peak,higher choline peak,and visible lactate peak or lipid peak. Of 7 cases with follow-up data,3 cases had no change,4 cases had changes including softening lesions(2/4),remitted and relapsed lesions(1/4),and rapid progression of brain atrophy with negative finding on the initial MRI(1/4). Conclusion Routine MRI combined with functional imaging can show the features of HE from different perspectives. Routine MRI shows multifocal or confluent lesions in the white matter,mostly without enhancement,while functional imaging may reveal pathological characteristics of different phases of acute or chronic ischemia and demyelinating changes of HE. Combined with clinical data,MRI can differentiate HE from other diseases based on routine and functional MRI appearances.

Key words: Hashimoto’s encephalopathy, magnetic resonance imaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging, autoimmune encephalitis

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