Subfalcine Herniation

Subfalcine herniation is a medical condition that can be potentially life-threatening. In this article, we will discuss subfalcine herniation, focusing primarily on imaging techniques and diagnosis.

What is Subfalcine Herniation?

Subfalcine herniation is a type of brain herniation that occurs when a portion of the brain, specifically the cingulate gyrus, shifts and moves underneath the falx cerebri, which is the protective membrane that separates the two hemispheres of the brain. This movement can result in increased intracranial pressure, which can be harmful to the brain.

Imaging Techniques for Subfalcine Herniation

1. CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

CT scans are often the first imaging technique used to diagnose subfalcine herniation. This non-invasive procedure combines X-rays and computer technology to create detailed cross-sectional images of the brain. In the case of subfalcine herniation, a CT scan can show signs of midline shift, indicating that the brain is shifting away from its normal position.

2. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

MRI is another valuable tool in diagnosing subfalcine herniation. Unlike CT scans, MRI uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to generate high-resolution images of the brain. It is especially useful for detecting the soft tissues of the brain. In the context of subfalcine herniation, MRI can provide detailed information about the extent of brain displacement and any associated abnormalities.

3. Angiography

Angiography, or cerebral angiography, involves injecting a contrast dye into the blood vessels of the brain to visualize them. This technique is primarily used to rule out any vascular abnormalities that may contribute to subfalcine herniation. It can help doctors identify potential causes and complications related to the condition.

4. Intracranial Pressure Monitoring

Monitoring intracranial pressure in cases of subfalcine herniation. By inserting a catheter into the brain, medical professionals can directly measure intracranial pressure. This information is invaluable for guiding treatment decisions.

Key Factors in Imaging Interpretation

When evaluating imaging results for subfalcine herniation, healthcare providers pay close attention to several key factors:

Midline Shift

A significant midline shift is a clear indicator of subfalcine herniation. It represents the deviation of brain structures from their normal position. Imaging studies, such as CT scans and MRIs, can provide precise measurements of this shift, aiding in diagnosis and treatment planning.

Brain Swelling

Imaging can reveal signs of brain swelling, which is common in cases of subfalcine herniation. The degree of brain edema, as seen on scans, helps doctors assess the severity of the condition and determine the urgency of intervention.

Other Abnormalities

In addition to assessing the primary signs of subfalcine herniation, healthcare providers examine the images for other abnormalities, such as bleeding, tumors, or vascular issues, that may be contributing to the condition or complicating its management.


Subfalcine herniation is a medical condition that necessitates prompt diagnosis and intervention. Imaging techniques, including CT scans, MRIs, angiography, and intracranial pressure monitoring, play a role in identifying and assessing this condition.

By carefully examining midline shifts, brain swelling, and associated abnormalities, physicians can make informed decisions to provide the best possible care to patients with subfalcine herniation.  Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are vital in managing this condition effectively and minimizing potential complications. 

Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

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