Eye of the tiger sign (globus pallidus)

Dr Dan J Bell and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

The eye of the tiger sign refers to abnormal low T2 signal on MRI (due to abnormal accumulation of iron) in the globus pallidus with a longitudinal stripe of high signal (due to gliosis and spongiosis). 

The eye of the tiger sign is most classically associated with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration​ 1-3 although it is not pathognomonic 5. There are no formalised criteria for the sign 6, and other conditions may demonstrate a similar appearance, such as Wilson disease 7, atypical parkinsonism 8, and organophosphate poisoning 9; it may also be a normal finding on a 3 tesla magnet 6. Therefore, caution should be used when interpreting this sign.

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Article information

rID: 1311
Section: Signs
Tags: stub, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Eye of tiger sign
  • Eye of the tiger sign
  • Eye of the tiger
  • Globus pallidus T2 hypointensity

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: probable Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome
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    Case 2
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