Paracoccidioidomycosis of the Central Nervous System: CT and MR Imaging Findings

Authors: M. Rosa Júnior, A.C. Amorim, I.V. Baldon, L.A. Martins, R.M. Pereira, R.P. Campos, S.S. Gonçalves, T.R.G. Velloso, P. Peçanha and A. Falqueto

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Paracoccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection mainly caused by the thermodimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides. The purpose of our study was to demonstrate the neuroimaging findings from 24 patients with CNS paracoccidioidomycosis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis focusing on the radiologic characteristics of CNS paracoccidioidomycosis. The 24 selected patients underwent MR imaging and/or CT, and the diagnosis was made by the presence of typical neuroimaging features, combined with fungus isolation, a serologic test, or the presence of disseminated disease.

RESULTS: Headache was the most common neurologic symptom, while the pseudotumoral form was the most common pattern. The number of lesions ranged from 1 to 11, with most localized on the frontal lobe with >2-cm lesions. CT showed mainly hypoattenuating lesions, whereas MR imaging demonstrated mainly hyposignal lesions on T1WI and T2WI. Furthermore, ring enhancement was present in most patients. The “dual rim sign” on SWI occurred in 100% of our patients with lesions of >2 cm.

CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of CNS paracoccidioidomycosis is difficult. Nevertheless, imaging examinations can play an important role in the diagnosis and evaluation of the disease.