CT of extraarachnoid metrizamide instillation

M. D. Dake, W. P. Dillon, R. H. Dorwart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Because CT of spinal extraarachnoid metrizamide collections may be misleading, we reviewed the postmetrizamide CT scans of 425 patients in order to characterize the appearance of subdural or epidural metrizamide. Eight patients were found to have extraarachnoid metrizamide contrast collections. In all patients, both the subarachnoid and the extraarachnoid collection were opacified with metrizamide. In seven patients, a subdural collection of metrizamide created a mass upon the opacified subarachnoid space. Three of these subdural collections were less dense than the opacified subarachnoid compartment and simulated soft-tissue disease, including tumor and an arteriovenous malformation. The hypodense collections are probably a result of leakage of metrizamide and cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal needle defect. CT clues for diagnosing these potentially misleading subdural collections include preservation of the normal dural and epidural interface, identification of small islands of metrizamide within a suspected soft-tissue 'mass', the presence of concomitant epidural contrast material collections, and the absence of adjacent vertebral-body destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-586
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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