Serial magnetic resonance imaging findings of intracerebral spread of listeria utilising subcortical U-fibres and the extreme capsule

Neuroradiol J. 2016 Dec;29(6):425-430. doi: 10.1177/1971400916665384. Epub 2016 Aug 24.


We present a case of Listeria monocytogenes cerebral abscess with axonal spread via the subcortical U-fibres and extreme capsule on magnetic resonance imaging, with follow-up studies demonstrating serial reduction in oedema and enhancement pattern of the white-matter fibre tracts following antimicrobial treatment. We discuss the microbiological mechanism of bacterial mobility to account for these unique imaging features. Recognition of this distinct pattern of spread of L. monocytogenes cerebral abscess may aid in diagnosis and enable early microbiological culture and treatment.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; bacterial neural invasion; cerebral abscess; white-matter fibre tract.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Abscess* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Abscess* / etiology
  • Brain Abscess* / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Listeria monocytogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Listeriosis / complications*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Nerve Fibers / pathology*