Tuberculosis (TB) has shown a resurgence in nonendemic populations in recent years and accounts for 8 million deaths annually in the world. Central nervous system involvement is one of the most serious forms of this infection, acting as a prominent cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. The rising number of cases in developed countries is mostly attributed to factors such as the pandemic of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and increased migration in a globalized world. Mycobacterium TB is responsible for almost all cases of tubercular infection in the central nervous system. It can manifest in a variety of forms as tuberculous meningitis, tuberculoma, and tubercular abscess. Spinal infection may result in spondylitis, arachnoiditis, and/or focal intramedullary tuberculomas. Timely diagnosis of central nervous system TB is paramount for the early institution of appropriate therapy, because delayed treatment is associated with severe morbidity and mortality. It is therefore important that physicians and radiologists understand the characteristic patterns, distribution, and imaging manifestations of TB in the central nervous system. Magnetic resonance imaging is considered the imaging modality of choice for the study of patients with suspected TB. Advanced imaging techniques including magnetic resonance perfusion and diffusion tensor imaging may be of value in the objective assessment of therapy and to guide the physician in the modulation of therapy in these patients.
- CNS tuberculosis
- TB meningitis
- TB spondylitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging