AccessMedicine's Image of the Week: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Findings on MRI

From: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20e: Chapter 429: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Diseases

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An Axial T 2-weighted M R I through the lateral ventricles of the brain.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Axial T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the lateral ventricles of the brain reveals abnormal high signal intensity within the corticospinal tracts (arrows). This MRI feature represents an increase in water content in myelin tracts undergoing Wallerian degeneration secondary to cortical motor neuronal loss. This finding is commonly present in ALS, but can also be seen in AIDS-related encephalopathy, infarction, or other disease processes that produce corticospinal neuronal loss in a symmetric fashion.

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Julie Grishaw, ACNP

Senior Editor, McGraw-Hill Education