Imaging features of central nervous system fungal infections|
Jain, Krishan K.; Mittal, Shireesh K.; Kumar, Sunil & Gupta, Rakesh K.
Fungal infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are rare in the general population and are invariably secondary to primary focus elsewhere, usually in the lung or intestine. Except for people with longstanding diabetes, they are most frequently encountered in immunocompromised patients such as those with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or after organ transplantation. Due to the lack of inflammatory response, neuroradiological findings are often nonspecific and are frequently mistaken for tuberculous meningitis, pyogenic abscess or brain tumor. Intracranial fungal infections are being identified more frequently due to the increased incidence of AIDS patients, better radiological investigations, more sensitive microbiological techniques and better critical care of moribund patients. Although almost any fungus may cause encephalitis, cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is most frequently seen, followed by aspergillosis and candidiasis. The biology, epidemiology and imaging features of the common fungal infections of the CNS will be reviewed. The radiographic appearance alone is often not specific, but the combination of the appropriate clinical setting along with computed tomography or magnetic resonance may help to suggest the correct diagnosis.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, brain, central nervous system, computed tomography, diffusion weighted imaging, fungal infection, infection, magnetic resonance (MR), proton MR spectroscopy