Restricted diffusion in the basal ganglia (and thalami) is seen in a variety of conditions, often associated with other signal abnormality of the basal ganglia. Care should be taken to confirm that increased signal on DWI actually represents restricted diffusion rather than merely T2 shine through.
It is important to note that each entity listed below has a variable pattern of involvement of the deep grey matter structures (basal ganglia and thalami).
Causes include 1:
- acute exposure to respiratory chain metabolic toxins
- Wilson disease (early)
- hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- osmotic demyelination
- Wernicke encephalopathy
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- deep cerebral venous thrombosis
- arterial infarction
- flavivirus encephalitis