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Noncongenital Central Nervous System Infections in Children: Radiology Review

Davila Acosta, Jorge Humberto MD*; Lazarte Rantes, Claudia Isabel MD*; Arbelaez, Andres MD†‡; Restrepo, Feliza MD†‡; Castillo, Mauricio MD§∥

Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
doi: 10.1097/RMR.0000000000000021
Original Articles

Abstract: Infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are a very common worldwide health problem in childhood with significant morbidity and mortality. In children, viruses are the most common cause of CNS infections, followed by bacterial etiology, and less frequent due to mycosis and other causes. Noncomplicated meningitis is easier to recognize clinically; however, complications of meningitis such as abscesses, infarcts, venous thrombosis, or extra-axial empyemas are difficult to recognize clinically, and imaging plays a very important role on this setting. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that infectious process adjacent to the CNS such as mastoiditis can develop by contiguity in an infectious process within the CNS. We display the most common causes of meningitis and their complications.

Author Information

From the *Diagnostic Imaging Department, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; †Neuroradiology Section, Radiological Department, Hospital Pablo Tobon Uribe, Medellin, Colombia; ‡Neuroradiology Unit, Link Diagnostico Digital, Medellín, Colombia; §University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.

Reprints: Jorge Humberto Davila Acosta, MD, Diagnostic Imaging Department, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, (CHEO) 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8L1 (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.