Brain infections that mimic malignancy

Vishwapriya Mahadev Godkhindi, Vidya Monappa, Nikitha Valerina Kairanna, Swati Sharma, Geetha Vasudevan, Karthikeya D. Hebbar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


There exists a wide spectrum of non-neoplastic conditions which can mimic a brain tumor, both clinically and radiologically. Central nervous system (CNS) infections are the commonest conditions in this group. CNS infections presenting as space-occupying lesions (SOLs) are not uncommon, especially in developing countries with large populations in the low socio-economic groups. The infective organisms gain entry into the CNS via hematogenous dissemination, seed the parenchyma, cause tissue destruction, expansion and a host tissue response, which all contribute to the formation of SOLs, akin to neoplasms. Enhancing lesions with perilesional edema and mass effect on neuroimaging is a characteristic feature of neoplasms. Similar findings have been observed in non-neoplastic conditions, especially CNS infections. Unless there is a suspicion of infection, these lesions will be missed and treatment delayed with resultant morbidity and mortality. This review discusses the common infectious lesions that mimic CNS malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-466
Number of pages11
JournalDiagnostic Histopathology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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