Bacterial, Fungal, and Parasitic Infections of the Central Nervous System: Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation and Historical Perspectives.

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Bacterial, Fungal, and Parasitic Infections of the Central Nervous System: Radiologic-Pathologic Correlation and Historical Perspectives.

Radiographics. 2015 Jun 12;:140317

Authors: Shih RY, Koeller KK

Abstract
Despite remarkable progress in prevention and treatment, infectious diseases affecting the central nervous system remain an important source of morbidity and mortality, particularly in less-developed countries and in immunocompromised persons. Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic pathogens are derived from living organisms and affect the brain, spinal cord, or meninges. Infections due to these pathogens are associated with a variety of neuroimaging patterns that can be appreciated at magnetic resonance imaging in most cases. Bacterial infections, most often due to Streptococcus, Haemophilus, and Neisseria species, cause significant meningitis, whereas the less common cerebritis and subsequent abscess formation have well-documented progression, with increasingly prominent altered signal intensity and corresponding contrast enhancement. Atypical bacterial infections are characterized by the development of a granulomatous response, classically seen in tuberculosis, in which the tuberculoma is the most common parenchymal form of the disease; spirochetal and rickettsial diseases are less common. Fungal infections predominate in immunocompromised hosts and are caused by yeasts, molds, and dimorphic fungi. Cryptococcal meningitis is the most common fungal infection, whereas candidiasis is the most common nosocomial infection. Mucormycosis and aspergillosis are characterized by angioinvasiveness and are associated with high morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients. In terms of potential exposure in the worldwide population, parasitic infections, including neurocysticercosis, toxoplasmosis, echinococcosis, malaria, and schistosomiasis, are the greatest threat. Rare amebic infections are noteworthy for their extreme virulence and high mortality. The objective of this article is to highlight the characteristic neuroimaging manifestations of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases, with emphasis on radiologic-pathologic correlation and historical perspectives. (©)RSNA, 2015.

PMID: 26065933 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]