JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Diffusion-weighted imaging in pediatric central nervous system infections].

Revista de Neurologia 2010 Februrary 2
INTRODUCTION: Central nervous system (CNS) infections are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Neuroimaging plays an important role in the early diagnosis and characterisation of neurological complications.

AIM: To report the findings in diffusion-weighted images (DWI) and its potential contribution to the early diagnosis and prognosis of neurological sequelae.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Descriptive study of a series of 23 patients, between the ages of 1 month and 16 years, who presented with CNS infection. MRI, with DWI, was performed in all of them.

RESULTS: We found 13 viral meningoencephalitis and 10 bacterial meningitis. MRI was performed from day one to seventh after hospitalization. We found CNS affection in conventional MRI and/or DWI in 14 of 23 cases (60%). In three patients the neurological injury was only evident in DWI. We found any type of neurological sequelae in 17 of 21 evaluable patients. The most common neurological sequelae we found was epilepsy (9 of 21). When we related sequelae with conventional MRI and DWI we found a trend in associated more severe sequelae when there are pathological findings in neuroimaging, not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: DWI sequence can be useful in the early diagnosis of neurological complications in CNS infections.

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