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Intracranial infections: clinical and imaging characteristics.

Acta Radiologica 2007 October
The radiologist plays a crucial role in identifying and narrowing the differential diagnosis of intracranial infections. A thorough understanding of the intracranial compartment anatomy and characteristic imaging findings of specific pathogens, as well incorporation of the clinical information, is essential to establish correct diagnosis. Specific types of infections have certain propensities for different anatomical regions within the brain. In addition, the imaging findings must be placed in the context of the clinical setting, particularly in immunocompromised and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients. This paper describes and depicts infections within the different compartments of the brain. Pathology-proven infectious cases are presented in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients, with a discussion of the characteristic findings of each pathogen. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) characteristics for several infections are also discussed.

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