Neuroradiology for Medical Students

Neuroradiologists primarily study the nervous system, including the brain, cranial nerves, and spinal cord. They play a major role in the diagnosis and assessment of treatment response for head & neck, brain, and spinal cord tumors. CT plays a major role in this field, especially for the assessment of the brain and spine following trauma and as a first line imaging modality for non-traumatic abnormalities such as degenerative disease. MRI plays a major role in this subspecialty and is used to evaluate congenital and developmental abnormalities, demyelinating disorders, infections, neoplasms, and the fine detail of the spine in trauma and degenerative disc disease. Ultrasound plays a minor role in assessing congenital abnormalities such as myelomeningocele and tethered cord.

Goals and objectives

  • Identify normal anatomic structures of the head and neck, brain, and spine on imaging exams and compare the degree of anatomic detail between CT and MR
  • When is MRI a more appropriate modality for spine imaging?
  • What is the difference between Vasogenic Edema and Cytotoxic edema? What are common causes for Both?
  • Recognize imaging signs of increased intracranial pressure and herniation. What does the 'Star' represent?
  • Discriminate between a subdural and epidural hematoma at CT.
  • Describe imaging signs of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
  • What does it mean when the 'Smile' is gone?
  • Construct the appropriate imaging approach for common diagnostic scenarios including: suspected stroke, suspected subarachnoid hemorrhage, head trauma, spine trauma, facial trauma, metastatic disease to the CNS, seizures, dementia, brain tumor follow up, sinus disease