The etiology of a brain lesion can be difficult to be certain of by routine MRI. Advanced MRI techniques offer ample opportunities to improve the possibilities of determining the etiology of a brain lesion non-invasively. UNMC neuroradiology is dedicated to providing patients access to multiple techniques in order to provide as accurate of a "virtual brain lesion biopsy" as possible. The neuroradiology section has a long history of utilizing multiple advanced imaging techniques to determine what the underlying cause of brain lesions are. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy, brain perfusion analysis, and diffusion weighted imaging analysis are available to analyze brain lesions. These techniques often helps us determine the likelihood of a brain lesion being a tumor, due to inflammation, a demyelinating plaque or an ischemic stroke. If the lesion is a tumor our analysis can also help determine how high a grade (aggressive) a brain tumor might be.
Most of these techniques are optimally performed at 3T but if a 3T exam cannot be performed we are able to perform the examinations at 1.5T. These techniques are also useful for evaluating if there is tumor recurrence or if findings on conventional MRI are due to treatment change. Integrating this information with conventional MRI findings can be straightforward. However, often this is a very complex process and having the analysis performed by neuroradiologists that are dedicated and experienced with the techniques can make a significant difference in the utility of the analysis.