A variety of disorders-including infectious, inflammatory, hereditary, and metabolic diseases-may affect both the brain and abdominal cavity, and the findings in one region may help establish the diagnosis or limit the differential diagnosis. Establishing an accurate early diagnosis enables clinicians to adequately manage these unusual diseases and potentially avert life-threatening complications. For example, an early diagnosis of Gardner syndrome enables annual sigmoid- or colonoscopy and ultrasonography. In many conditions, abdominal manifestations precede neurologic manifestations and may have prognostic significance. Patients with celiac disease more often present with abdominal manifestations such as duodenitis, slow transit time, reversal of the jejunal-ileal fold pattern, and transient small bowel intussusception than with intracranial manifestations. In other conditions, the neurologic manifestations may be the same as the presenting symptoms. For example, patients with Gardner syndrome may initially present with multiple mandibular or sinonasal osteomas. In addition, sarcoidosis may manifest with multifocal enhancing dural masses. Abdominal and neurologic manifestations may even occur simultaneously, as in several of the phakomatoses such as neurofibromatosis type 1, tuberous sclerosis complex, and von Hippel-Lindau syndrome. Ultimately, familiarity with the appearances of these conditions allows radiologists to pinpoint a diagnosis, even when imaging findings in either location are nonspecific.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging