The role of cranial ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of infections of the central nervous system

Early Hum Dev. 2006 Dec;82(12):819-25. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.09.006. Epub 2006 Oct 23.


Imaging data concerning infection of the central nervous system (CNS) in neonates are usually confined to small groups of infants. We have reviewed the imaging findings in 96 preterm and full-term infants admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit over a 15 year period. Neuro-imaging, especially cranial ultrasound (CUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provided useful information; CUS allows the early and later detection of calcification, germinolytic and parenchymal cysts, ventricular dilatation and strands and ependymal abnormality; diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is especially useful in the acute stage of bacterial and viral infections, while conventional MRI helps in the detection of neocortical dysplasia in CMV infection and defining cerebellar abnormality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Infections / diagnosis*
  • Central Nervous System Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Ultrasonography