Revision 2 for 'Brain mass lesion (summary)'

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Brain lesion (summary)

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

Reference article

This is a summary article; we do not have a more in-depth reference article.


  • pathophysiology
    • as described above, brain lesions are a very broad group of conditions that may be secondary to infarction, infection or neoplastic causes
  • role of imaging
    • determine whether the brain parenchyma is normal
    • determine what the likely cause is
    • determine whether there are complications, e.g. mass effect
    • determine whether further imaging (or other tests) is/are required
  • radiographic features
    • when making assessment of a brain lesion, think about the following:
      • is the lesion solitary?
      • is the lesion definitely in the brain (intra-axial)?
      • is there edema 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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