E1669. The Pons: Anatomy, Function, and Spectrum of Pathologies
  1. Wen Wang; UF Health Jacksonville
  2. Sherif Elsherif ; UF Health Jacksonville
  3. Emilio Supsupin; UF Health Jacksonville
The pons is a critical structure in the brainstem and is of vital importance. We present an array of clinical scenarios depicting varying pathologies affecting the pons. Understanding the anatomy and function is key to recognizing the wide spectrum of pathology and their clinical manifestations. We hope to help radiologists recognize the imaging findings of these pathologies and provide timely diagnosis.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
Review the anatomy and structures of the pons. Discuss the functions of the pons. Provide illustrative cases and clinical scenarios depicting varying pontine pathologies.

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
The pons is a vital structure located between the midbrain and medulla. It is divided into the anterior basilar aspect and the posterior tegmentum portion. It is supplied by the terminal branches of the vertebral and basilar artery, superior cerebellar artery, and anterior inferior cerebellar artery. The gray matter contains the cranial nerve nuclei V-VIII and reticular formation and other pontine nuclei, whereas the white matter includes the ascending sensory and descending motor tracts. Common pathologic conditions of pons include pontine infarct, hemorrhage, demyelinating disease, vascular malformation, and tumor. Examples of uncommon pathology are central pontine myelinolysis and chronic lymphocytic infiltration with pontine perivascular enhancement responsive to steroids (CLIPPERS). Case illustrations include pontine infarct resulting from basilar artery occlusion, central pontine myelinolysis, CLIPPERS, and pontine cavernous malformation.

There is a wide range of pathology affecting the pons. It is critical for radiologists to recognize the imaging features of these conditions to assist clinical diagnosis and treatment and potentially improve patient outcomes.