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Imaging of Childhood Inflammatory Brain Diseases

Sudhakar, Sniya Valsa, DNB, FRCR*; Muthusamy, Karthik, MD, DM; Shroff, Manohar, MD, DABR, FRCPC

Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: December 2018 - Volume 27 - Issue 6 - p 409–431
doi: 10.1097/RMR.0000000000000187
Review Articles

Brain has been considered as an immune-privileged site for centuries owing to the presence of blood-brain barrier, absent lymphatic drainage, and antigen-presenting cells. However, the present prevailing concept is of immune surveillance where brain is continuously surveyed by immune cells. However, the presence of immune cells in central nervous system (CNS) brings the risk of inflammation and autoimmunity involving both T and B cell mediated pathways. These mechanisms form the underlying pathology in a wide spectrum of pediatric CNS diseases manifesting as acquired neurological deficits. Overlapping, heterogenous, and ambiguous clinical features often delays the diagnosis. Although not always pathognomonic, magnetic resonance imaging can be an important biomarker leading to early diagnosis, prognostication, and systematic follow-up pf these diseases. This review describes the spectrum of different pediatric inflammatory disorders and their pertinent imaging features illustrated with clinical examples.

*Department of Radiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Diagnostic Imaging, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to Sniya Valsa Sudhakar, DNB, FRCR, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. (e-mail:

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