Disorders of Cortical Formation: MR Imaging Features

Authors: A.A.K. Abdel Razek a, A.Y. Kandell a, L.G. Elsorogy a, A. Elmongy b and A.A. Basett c

a Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
b Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
c Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt


The purpose of this article was to review the embryologic stages of the cerebral cortex, illustrate the classification of disorders of cortical formation, and finally describe the main MR imaging features of these disorders. Disorders of cortical formation are classified according to the embryologic stage of the cerebral cortex at which the abnormality occurred. MR imaging shows diminished cortical thickness and sulcation in microcephaly, enlarged dysplastic cortex in hemimegalencephaly, and ipsilateral focal cortical thickening with radial hyperintense bands in focal cortical dysplasia. MR imaging detects smooth brain in classic lissencephaly, the nodular cortex with cobblestone cortex with congenital muscular dystrophy, and the ectopic position of the gray matter with heterotopias. MR imaging can detect polymicrogyria and related syndromes as well as the types of schizencephaly. We concluded that MR imaging is essential to demonstrate the morphology, distribution, and extent of different disorders of cortical formation as well as the associated anomalies and related syndromes.