Imaging

Cerebellar Degeneration

Preliminary Diagnosis: Cerebellar Degeneration

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

  • Noncontrast CT of the brain

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosis of cerebellar degeneration.

Advantages

  • Less expensive than MRI

  • Faster to peform than MRI

Disadvantages

  • Exposes patients to ionizing radiation.

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

May be contraindicated in pregnant patients.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

Contrast MRI of the brain.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosis of cerebellar degeneration.

Contrast MRI of the brain

Advantages

  • Able to better detect any underlying cerebellar abnormalities with greater specificity and sensitivity that may be associated with focal degeneration

  • Allows exquisite soft tissue visualization

Disadvantages

  • Less adept at characterizing the surrounding osseous structures

  • Subject to motion artifact due to extensive length of the examination degrading image quality

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

Contrast MRI of the brain

Contraindicated in patients with non-MR-compatible hardware

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