Diagnostic Criteria of Hemorrhage in MRI of the Brain

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The imaging characteristics of blood on MRI can be variable:

Age T1 Weighted T2 Weighted
Hyperacute Hours old, mainly oxyhemoglobin with surrounding edema Hypointense Hyperintense
Acute Days old, mainly deoxyhemoglobin with surrounding edema Hypointense Hypointense, surrounded by hyperintense margin
Subacute Weeks old, mainly methemoglobin Hyperintense Hypointense, early subacute with predominantly intracellular methemoglobin. Hyperintense, late subacute with predominantly extracellular methemoglobin
Chronic Years old, hemosiderin slit or hemosiderin margin surrounding fluid cavity Hypointense Hypointense slit, or hypointense margin surrounding hyperintense fluid cavity




  1. Culebras A, Kase CS, Masdeu JC, Fox AJ, Bryan RN, Grossman CB, Lee DH, Adams HP, Thies W. Practice guidelines for the use of imaging in transient ischemic attacks and acute stroke. A report of the Stroke Council, American Heart Association. Stroke. 1997 Jul;28(7):1480-97. [Medline]

Created: April 19, 2005