What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

The total value of performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a patient with bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness (MDI), remains unclear; however, a couple of reasons do exist for performing an imaging study. Because manic-depressive illness is a lifelong disease, a strong battery of studies rules out any other medical etiology and establishes a baseline. Some investigators report that patients with mania demonstrate hyperintensity in their temporal lobes.


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