A meningioma-mimicking tumor caused by Mycobacterium avium complex in an immunocompromised patient

Am J Surg Pathol. 2000 Jan;24(1):136-9. doi: 10.1097/00000478-200001000-00017.


Intracranial tuberculomas manifesting radiologically as typical dural-based "meningiomas" have been reported, most frequently in immunosuppressed patients. Their incidence is high in developing countries; they are only sporadically observed in Western Europe and North America, usually in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). According to published reports, intracranial tuberculomas are always due to infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We report a case of a 50-year-old woman with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who presented with a dural based, meningioma-like mass in the right frontal region, resulting from a localized infection by Mycobacterium avium complex. Histologically, the mass resembled a meningioma in being composed of spindly cells arranged in a fascicular pattern. Immunohistochemical stains showed this tumor to consist of a large aggregate of AFB-laden histiocytes without caseating necrosis or multinucleated giant cells.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Meningioma / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / diagnosis*
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / diagnostic imaging
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / pathology
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / surgery
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / pathology
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / surgery


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Azathioprine
  • Prednisone