Spectrum of findings on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in patients with neurological manifestations of dengue fever

<div><p>Abstract Objective: To describe the spectrum of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients with neurological manifestations of dengue. Materials and Methods: We included nine patients with dengue fever (three females and six males; age range, 9–30 years), all of whom presented with neurological manifestations. The MRI examinations, performed in 1.5 T or 3 T scanners, included T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences. Diffusion-weighted imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient mapping was also employed. Fast low-angle shot and susceptibility-weighted gradient-recalled echo sequences, as well as contrast-enhanced T1-weighted scans, were also obtained in order to assess parenchymal enhancement. MRI scans were analyzed for lesion distribution and imaging features. Results: All patients showed areas of altered signal intensity that appeared as hyperintensity on T2-weighted and FLAIR sequences. The most commonly affected site was the basal ganglia-thalamus complex. Other affected sites were the cerebellum, cerebral cortex, white matter, and brainstem. In all cases, we observed patchy areas of restricted diffusion and focal areas of hemorrhage. Conclusion: Dengue encephalitis commonly affects the basal ganglia, thalamus, cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and white matter. Therefore, MRI should be an indispensable part of the evaluation of patients with neurological complications of dengue fever.</p></div>