How is MRI scanning used to differentiate focal central nervous system (CNS) lesions from toxoplasmic encephalitis?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Murat Hökelek, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The major differential diagnosis of focal CNS lesions in patients with AIDS is CNS lymphoma, which manifests as multiple enhancing lesions in 40% of cases.

The probability of toxoplasmic encephalitis falls and the probability of lymphoma rises in the presence of single lesions on MRI scans. Therefore, a brain biopsy may be required to obtain a definitive diagnosis in patients with a solitary lesion (especially if confirmed with MRI).


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