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Portrait of John A. Butman
John A. Butman, MD, PhD

Staff Clinician

Radiology and Imaging Sciences

BS, California Institute of Technology
PhD, Washington University School of Medicine
MD, Washington University School of Medicine


Portrait of John A. Butman
John A. Butman, MD, PhD

Staff Clinician

Radiology and Imaging Sciences

BS, California Institute of Technology
PhD, Washington University School of Medicine
MD, Washington University School of Medicine


Dr. John A. Butman joined the Radiology and Imaging Science Program in 2002 where he has worked to optimize MRI neuroimaging protocols to the diverse patient populations encountered at the NIH.

Dr. Butman completed an MD and a PhD in Neuroscience through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1993, following undergraduate degrees in Applied Mathematics and Biology at Caltech in 1985. He completed residency at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in 1997 and fellowship in neuroradiology at the University of New Mexico in 1999. Dr. Butman received Board Certification in Diagnostic Radiology in 1997, and a CAQ in Neuroradiology in 2000.

In 2000, Dr. Butman joined the Radiology and Imaging Science Program where he has worked to optimize MRI neuroimaging protocols to the diverse patient populations encountered at the NIH. From this clinical material at the NIH, Dr. Butman has reported a number of unique phenomena including MRI imaging findings in West Vile Virus encephalitis, a pathognomonic MRI imaging sign in Fabry’s disease, and physiologic and pathophysiologic enhancement of the inner ear in a range of diseases.

To facilitate brain tumor MRI interpretation, Dr. Butman developed the “Registration Engine” in collaboration with Medical Numerics. The Registration Engine is an imaging resource unique to the Clinical Center which allows neuroradiologists to rapidly and accurately evaluate the progression or response of brain tumors within minutes of MRI completion. This resource facilitates both clinical trial evaluation as well as research into tumor pathophysiology and the effects of therapy.

To evaluate brain tumors, physiologic MRI imaging methods such as dynamic enhanced MRI have been applied by Dr. Butman over a broad spectrum. Active research involves optimizing both the MRI techniques and the analysis methods to provide for rapid, accurate imaging in the clinical setting in a completely transparent automated manner.

To explore the fine structure of the inner ear, Dr. Butman has recently developed MRI methods for differentiating the endolymph and perilymph of the inner ear separately. This allows, for the first time, direct visualization of the membranous labyrinth allowing for the diagnosis of endolymphatic hydrops. This new technique is now being applied in patient populations.

The use of MRI methods to parcellate the cortex into cytoarchitectonically distinct regions is an exciting new avenue of research. Dr. Butman is interested in developing new MRI methods to emphasize image contrast that can distinguish between Brodmann’s areas in vivo.

Dr. Butman is an associate investigator on over a dozen protocols at the NIH and as a principal investigator on two. His work has resulted in over 50 peer reviewed papers since his arrival at the NIH. Most recently, Dr. Butman reported on the mechanisms of morbid hearing loss in von Hippel Lindau disease in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Active research collaborations include advanced MRI in stroke, brain tumors, hearing loss and others.

He is a senior member of the American Society for Neuroradiology (ASNR) and a member of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM). As a member of these societies he is active scientifically, having presented about 35 abstracts at the annual meetings of these two societies in the last five years.

Dr. Butman has participated as a reviewer in NIH study sections, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, and the Neurocysticercosis Working Group in Peru. He has served as a manuscript reviewer for a number of journals.

Journal Articles

Butman JA, Linehan WM, Lonser RR. Neurologic manifestations of von Hippel-Lindau disease. JAMA. 2008 Sep 17;300(11):1334-42.

Butman JA, Floeter MK. Decreased thickness of primary motor cortex in primary lateral sclerosis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2007 Jan;28(1):87-91. PMID: 17213431

Butman JA, Kim HJ, Baggenstos M, Ammerman JM, Dambrosia J, Patsalides A, Patronas NJ, Oldfield EH, Lonser RR. Mechanisms of Morbid Hearing Loss Associated with Tumors of the Endolymphatic Sac in von Hippel-Lindau Disease. JAMA 2007 Jul; 298(1):1-8.

Chalela JA, Kidwell CS, Nentwich LM, Luby M, Butman JA, Demchuk AM, Hill MD, Patronas N, Latour L, Warach S. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography in emergency assessment of patients with suspected acute stroke: a prospective comparison. Lancet. 2007 Jan 27;369(9558):293-8.

Ferrier MC, Sarin H, Fung SH, Schatlo B, Gupta SN, Choyke PL, Oldfield EH, Thomasson D, Butman JA. Validation of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging-derivedvascular permeability measurements using quantitative autoradiography in the RG2 rat brain tumor model. Neoplasia. 2007 Jul;9(7):546-55.

Biega TJ, Lonser RR, Butman JA, Differential cortical thickness across the central sulcus: A method to identify the central sulcus in the presence of mass effect and vasogenic edema. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2006 27: p. 1450-1453,

Bagnato F, Butman JA(co-first author), Gupta S, Calabrese M, Pezawas L, Ohayon JM, Tovar-Moll F, Riva M, Cao MM, Talagala SL, McFarland HF. In Vivo Detection of Cortical Plaques by MR Imaging in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2006 Nov;27(10):2161-7.
Note: Bagnato and Butman contributed equally to this paper.

Goldbach-Mansky R, Dailey NJ, Canna SW, Gelabert A, Jones J, Rubin BI, Kim HJ, Brewer C, Zalewski C, Wiggs E, Hill S, Turner ML, Karp BI, Aksentijevich I, Pucino F, Penzak SR, Haverkamp MH, Stein L, Adams BS, Moore TL, Fuhlbrigge RC, Shaham B, Jarvis JN, O'neil K, Vehe RK, Beitz LO, Gardner G, Hannan WP, Warren RW, Horn W, Cole JL, Paul SM, Hawkins PN, Pham TH, Snyder C, Wesley RA, Hoffmann SC, Holland SM, Butman JA, Kastner DL. Neonatal-Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease Responsive to Interleukin-1{beta} Inhibition. N Engl J Med. 2006 Aug 10;355(6):581-592.

Solomon J, Butman JA, Sood A. Segmentation of brain tumors in 4D MR images using the hidden Markov model. Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 2006 Dec;84(2-3):76-85. Epub 2006 Oct 16. PMID: 17050032

Butman JA, Gea-Banacloche J, Johnson RT, Bagic A, Butman JA, Murray PR, Agrawal AG. West Nile virus: pathogenesis and therapeutic options. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Apr 6;140(7):545-53.

Kidwell CS, Chalela JA, Saver JL, Starkman S, Hill MD, Demchuk AM, Butman JA, Patronas N, Alger JR, Latour LL, Luby ML, Baird AE, Leary MC, Tremwel M, Ovbiagele B, Fredieu A, Suzuki S, Villablanca JP, Davis S, Dunn B, Todd JW, Ezzeddine MA, Haymore J, Lynch JK, Davis L, Warach S. Comparison of MRI and CT for Detection of Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage. JAMA. 2004 Oct 20;292(15):1823-1830.

Lonser RR, Kim HJ, Butman JA, Vortmeyer AO, Choo DI, Oldfield EH. Tumors of the endolymphatic sac in von Hippel-Lindau disease. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jun 10;350(24):2481-6.

Moore DF, Ye F, Schiffmann R, Butman JA. Increased Signal Intensity in the Pulvinar on T1-Weighted Images: A Pathognomonic MR Imaging Sign of Fabry Disease. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2003 Jun-Jul;24(6):1096-1101.

Lee JS, FitzGibbon E, Butman JA, Dufresne CR, Kushner H, Wientroub S, Robey PG, Collins MT. Normal vision despite narrowing of the optic canal in fibrous dysplasia. N Engl J Med 2002 Nov 21;347(21):1670-6


Kidwell CS, Chalela J, Saver JL, Hill MD, Demchuk A, Butman J, Warach S. Comparison of MRI and CT for Detection of Acute Intracerebral Hemorrhage—Reply. JAMA. 2005;293:550-551.

Butman JA, Lee P. (2000) A Criterion for Distinguishing Level V Nodes From Clavicular Nodes. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2000;126:806-80

Book Chapters

Butman JA, Patronas NP, Kim HJ (2006) Imaging of the Temporal Bone Chapter 134 In: Bailey: Head and Neck Surgery-Otolaryngology 4/e, B. Bailey and J. Jonas (eds.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Butman J, Koby M, Choyke P (2006) Chapter 2, Advances in MRI of the Brain. In: New Techniques in Oncologic Imaging, Padhani and Choyke (eds.). CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. pp. 21-36

Pryor S, Park HJ, Madeo AC, Butman JA, Griffith AJ (2003) Pendred Syndrome. In: Genetic Hearing Loss. Marcel Dekker, Inc. pp. 75-96.

Butman JA, Frank JA (2001) Overview of Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis and White Matter Disease. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America. 10:669-688

Hart BL, Butman JA, Benzel E. (2000) Spine Trauma. In: Neuroradiology. W. W. Orrison ed. Saunders.

  • AAO-HNS President's Award, 2005
  • "Physiologic Enhancement of the Labyrinth," ASNR Annual Meeting, 2004
  • DRD Employee of the Quarter for clinical contributions, 2004
  • "Outstanding Presentation in Head and Neck Radiology," ASNR Annual Meeting
  • Numerous ASNR Scientific Exhibits at the ASNR have received commendation including two "summa cum laude"

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This page last updated on 05/17/2021

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