Brain mass lesion (summary)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Brain mass lesions are a broad collection of pathological processes that result in changes on brain imaging (usually CT or MRI). They are a very disparate group of conditions ranging from infection (abscess) to brain tumours (benign and slow-growing, metastatic or primary high-grade brain tumour). A number of features of a brain lesion can help to narrow the differential.

Reference article

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  • pathophysiology
    • brain mass lesions are a very broad group of conditions
      • infection (abscess)
      • neoplastic
        • brain metastases
        • primary brain tumour (benign/slow growing to high-grade and rapidly progressive)

CT head | MRI brain

  • role of imaging
    • is there a mass lesion?
    • what's the likely cause?
    • are there complications (e.g. mass effect)?
    • will further imaging (or other tests) be helpful?
  • radiographic features
    • when making an assessment of a brain lesion, use these questions:
      • is the lesion solitary?
      • is the lesion definitely in the brain (intra-axial)?
      • is there oedema around the lesion?
      • is there associated mass effect?
      • is there clinical history or previous imaging that helps in the diagnosis, e.g. history of cancer
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rID: 55162
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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: haemorrhagic metastases
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    Case 2: cerebral abscess
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    Case 3: glioblastoma
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