Neuroimaging in Zoonotic Outbreaks Affecting the Central Nervous System: Are We Fighting the Last War? ADULT BRAIN
SUMMARY: When preparing for the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and its effects on the CNS, radiologists should be familiar with neuroimaging appearances in past zoonotic infectious disease outbreaks. Organisms that have crossed the species barrier from animals to humans include viruses such as Hendra, Nipah, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and influenza, as well as bacteria and others. Brain CT and MR imaging findings have included cortical abnormalities, microinfarction in the white matter, large-vessel occlusion, and features of meningitis. In particular, the high sensitivity of diffusion-weighted MR imaging in detecting intracranial abnormalities has been helpful in outbreaks. Although the coronaviruses causing the previous Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome outbreak and the current coronavirus disease 19 pandemic are related, it is important to be aware of their similarities as well as potential differences. This review describes the neuroimaging appearances of selected zoonotic outbreaks so that neuroradiologists can better understand the current pandemic and potential future outbreaks.
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