IgG4-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis

IgG4-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis is one of the many manifestations of IgG4-related disease which represents a fibroinflammatory condition that can affect any organ. IgG4-related pachymeningitis is increasingly being recognized as the etiology of hypertrophic pachymeningitis, an entity which until recently was thought to be idiopathic.

It typically older men with a mean age of presentation of 59 years. 

Head and neck manifestations of IgG4 disease are more common than hypertrophic pachymeningitis. Salivary gland involvement is the most common head and neck manifestation. 

Patients may be asymptomatic, but if symptomatic, they commonly present with headaches. Symptoms may be related to mechanical compression of vascular or neural structures. Patients often present with systemic manifestations of the disease. 

Meningeal biopsy reveals "storiform" fibrosis with lymphoplasmacytic infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells (either > 10 cells/HPF or IgG4:IgG ratio >40%) and obliterative phlebitis.

Elevated serum IgG4 level and CSF IgG4 oligoclonal bands.

In addition to radiographic features of IgG4-related hypertophic pachymeningitis, which are detailed below, other associated head and neck manifestations of IgG4-related disease, such as IgG4-related-hypophysitis, lacrimal and salivary gland enlargement and inflammation, orbital pseudotumor, and perineural spread along trigeminal and other cranial nerves, may also be seen.

Findings on CT can be very subtle. Plaque-like dural thickening may or may not be evident. Focal nodular thickening may mimic a meningioma

The following signal characteristics are seen:

  • T1: isointense dural thickening 
  • T1 C+ (Gd): homogeneous enhancement
  • T2/FLAIR: markedly hypointense due to underlying fibrosis (a reasonably specific imaging finding)
  • GRE/SWI: hypointense due to underlying fibrosis

FDG-PET has limited utility for detecting pachymeningitis due to avid brain uptake of FDG and inferior spatial resolution of PET compared to MRI. FDG-PET can detect systemic/multiorgan manifestations of IgG4-related disease and can be utilized to assess for treatment response.

IgG4-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis is responsive to high dose steroids. Additionally, immunomodulators have shown variable efficacy. 

Generally there is a favorable prognosis. 

Share article

Article information

rID: 57868
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis
  • Immunoglobulin G4-related hypertrophic pachymeningitis

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

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

 Thank you for updating your details.