What is the role of MRI in the diagnosis of viral meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

MRI with contrast is the criterion standard in visualizing intracranial pathology in viral encephalitis. HSV-1 commonly affects the basal frontal and temporal lobes with a typical picture of diffusely enhancing bilateral lesions. An MRI scan of a patient with meningoencephalitis is seen below.

T1-weighted MRI of brain demonstrates diffuse enha T1-weighted MRI of brain demonstrates diffuse enhancement of the meninges in viral meningoencephalitis.

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