This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content, and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Ventriculitis

A ventriculitis refers to inflammation, usually due to infection, of the ependymal lining of the cerebral ventricles. It is most often due to intraventricular rupture of brain abscess.

Epidemiology

Its epidemiology is varied and depends on the underlying cause. 

Pathology

Meningitis is the most common underlying condition responsible for the ventriculitis. It is directly related to lower host immunity and higher virulence of the   causative organism. The occurrance of direct haematogenous spread to the choroid plexus has also been suggested. In long standing cases (>2 months) ventricular septations develop which result in compartmentalization and multiloculated hydrocephalus hydrocephalus and makes prognosis worse.

Radiographic features

CT

Non-contrast CT of the brain usually demonstrates only non-specific features, most frequently hyperdense layering material may be seen dependently, particularly in the occipital horns of the lateral ventricles 1.

Hydrocephalus and periventricular low density (which probably represents reactive oedema rather than transependymal oedema related to hydrocephalus 1) is also frequently present, as of course may the features of the underlying abnormality (e.g. meningitis, shunt / EVD, trauma) 

Following administration of contrast, thin regular enhancement of the ependymal lining of the ventricles may be seen. 

MRI

MRI demonstrates the same features as CT, with layering debris in the occipital horns frequently seen. There often is intense restricted diffusion of these intraventricular debris, as seen in the center of a brain abscess.

MRI is also more sensitive to the often subtle periventricular abnormal signal (high T2) and thin contrast enhancement. 

Additionally, the periventricular region may demonstrate restricted diffusion on DWI / ADC.

Differential diagnosis

The main differential diagnosis is that of ependymal lining enhancement, which includes epndymal spreading of glioblastoma multiforme or primary CNS lymphoma. In these cases, the enhancement is usually bumpy / nodular. Extracrania neplasml metastases and germinoma may also be responsible for similar findings.

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert_accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.