Viral Encephalitis

  • Stefan Hähnel
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


With the exception of herpes simplex virus encephalitis type 1 involving preferentially limbic structures of the brain the imaging features of viral encephalitis are mostly unspecific. Typical features of viral encephalitis are vasogenic brain oedema and swelling, variable contrast enhancement of the involved structures and possibly haemorrhage. The major task of the neuroradiologist is to differentiate viral encephalitis from other noninflammatory entities such as neoplastic diseases or ischaemia.


Herpes Zoster Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Magnetization Transfer Ratio Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis 
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Further Reading

  1. Bakshi R (2004) Neuroimaging of HIV and AIDS related illness: a review. Front Biosci 9:632–646PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Falcone S, Post MJ (2000) Encephalitis, cerebritis, and brain abscess: pathophysiology and imaging findings. Neuroimag Clin N Am 10(2):333–353Google Scholar
  3. Hähnel S, Storch-Hagenlocher B, Seitz A (2006) Infectious diseases of the brain: imaging and differential diagnosis. Radiologie Up2Date 3:207–234 [in German]Google Scholar
  4. Kennedy PG (2004) Viral encephalitis: causes, differential diagnosis, and management. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 75(Suppl 1):i10–i15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Roos KL (1999) Encephalitis. Neurol Clin 17(4):813–833PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Tan CS, Koralnik IJ (2010) Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and other disorders caused by JC virus: clinical features and pathogenesis. Lancet Neurol. 9(4):425–37PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Weber W, Henkes H, Felber S et al (2000) Diagnostic imaging in viral encephalitis. Radiologe 40 (11):998– 010 [in German]Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of NeuroradiologyUniversity of Heidelberg Medical CenterHeidelbergGermany

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