Magnetization transfer MR imaging in CNS tuberculosis

Rakesh K. Gupta, Manoj K. Kathuria, Sunil Pradhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: CNS tuberculosis may simulate other granulomas and meningitis on MR images. The purpose of this study was to improve the characterization of lesions in CNS tuberculosis and to assess the disease load using magnetization transfer (MT) imaging. METHODS: A total of 107 tuberculomas in seven patients with or without meningitis and 15 patients with tuberculosis meningitis alone were studied. Fifteen patients with cysticercus granulomas with T2 hypointensity, five patients each with viral and pyogenic meningitis, and two patients with cryptococcal meningitis were also studied. The MT ratios were calculated from tuberculomas, cysticercus granulomas, and thickened meninges in tuberculous, viral, pyogenic, and cryptococcal meningitis and were compared within each pathologic group and with the MT ratio of different regions of normal brain parenchyma. Detectability of lesions on T1-weighted MT spin-echo (SE) images was compared with that on conventional SE and postcontrast MT-SE images. RESULTS: Thickened meninges appeared hyperintense relative to surrounding brain parenchyma in the basal and supratentorial cisterns on precontrast MT-SE images in all 18 patients with tuberculosis meningitis. These meninges were not seen or were barely visible on conventional SE images, and enhanced on postcontrast MT-SE images. The MT ratio from the thickened meninges of tuberculous meningitis was significantly lower than that from the meninges in cryptococcal and pyogenic disease and significantly higher than the meninges in viral meningoencephalitis. The MT ratio from T2 visible and invisible tuberculomas appeared to be significantly lower than that of normal white matter. The MT ratio of T2 hypointense cysticercus granuloma was significantly higher than that of T2 hypointense tuberculoma. CONCLUSION: Precontrast MT-SE imaging helps to better assess the disease load in CNS tuberculosis by improving the detectability of the lesions. With the use of MT ratios, it may be possible to differentiate tuberculosis from similar- appearing infective lesions on MR images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-875
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetization transfer MR imaging in CNS tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this