Magnetic resonance imaging of a brain abscess in a 10-month-old filly

Audigie F, Tapprest J, George C, et al. 

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2004;45:210-215.

The purpose of this paper was to correlate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of a mature brain abscess in a horse with histopathologic alterations of brain tissue. Eight months after the onset of clinical signs, MRI of the brain of a 10-month-old filly was performed. A large space-occupying lesion in the right cerebral hemisphere was identified. This space-occupying lesion was delineated by a thick and well-defined capsule that was isointense to brain parenchyma on the T1-weighted images and with a markedly hypointense on the T2-weighted images. The identification of such a capsule is highly diagnostic of a mature brain abscess. The lesion seen on MR images was confirmed at necropsy where a large abscess of the right hemisphere was observed. Streptococcus zooepidemicus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated from the abscess. Based on histopathologic examination, the signal characteristics of the capsule on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images were found to be due to the presence of numerous hemosiderin-laden macrophages. These results are in agreement with previous studies on human patients. This report confirms the value of MRI in the diagnosis of equine brain diseases.