Moyamoya Disease - Diagnosis

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is initially suggested by CT, MRI, or angiogram. In fact, the name derives from its angiographic image; the "puff of smoke," which is how moyamoya loosely translates from Japanese, refers to the appearance of multiple compensatorily dilated striate vessels seen on angiography. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images are better than FLAIR images for depicting the leptomeningeal ivy sign in moyamoya disease. MRI and MRA should be performed for the diagnosis and follow-up of moyamoya disease. Diffusion-weighted imaging can also be used for following the clinical course of children with moyamoya disease, in whom new focal deficits are highly suspicious of new infarcts.

Often nuclear medicine studies such as SPECT (single photon emission computerized tomography) are used to demonstrate the decreased blood and oxygen supply to areas of the brain involved with moyamoya disease. Conventional angiography provided the conclusive diagnosis of moyamoya disease in most cases and should be performed before any surgical considerations.

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