A rare condition characterised by abnormal hemosiderin staining of sub arachonid space, may be diffuse or focal, commonly overlying cerebral and cerebellar convexity, basal cisterns, ventral surface of brain stem on T2*GRE, results from excessive and repetitive subarachonid bleed.
An associated staining along cranial nerves particularly i, ii and viii CNs.
May see an associated atrophy of cerebellar hemispheres and vermis, lepto meningeal thickening with enhancement.
CT usually normal may show faint hyperdense layering.
Differential diagnosis is none, it has a pathognomonic appearace on T2*GRE.
Superficial siderosis is not a final diagnosis but an important finding indicating a remote or recurrent intra cranial bleed in subarachnoid space. Further imaging evaluation should be directed towards source of bleeding like MR Angiography to rule out aneurysm or any other vascular malformation.
The issue is cause of bleed. In ~25% cases cause in not found.
Clinically common symptoms are ataxia, hearing loss, anosmia, dementia; in long standing cases adjacent brain parenchymal atrophy ensues with altered cognition.
Treatment directed towards finding and removing cause of bleeding. Iron chelating agents.
Reference: Teaching atlas of brain imaging: By Nancy J. Fischbein, William P. Dillon, A. James Barkovich : Dural and lepto meningeal processes, Case 65, page 231.
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