Magnetic resonance imaging of a brain abscess in a 10-month-old filly


Address correspondence and reprint requests to F. Audigié, DVM, PhD, at the above address.


The purpose of this paper was to correlate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of a mature brain abscess in a horse with histopathologic alterations of brain tissue. Eight months after the onset of clinical signs, MRI of the brain of a 10-month-old filly was performed. A large space-occupying lesion in the right cerebral hemisphere was identified. This space-occupying lesion was delineated by a thick and well-defined capsule that was isointense to brain parenchyma on the T1-weighted images and with a markedly hypointense on the T2-weighted images. The identification of such a capsule is highly diagnostic of a mature brain abscess. The lesion seen on MR images was confirmed at necropsy where a large abscess of the right hemisphere was observed. Streptococcus zooepidemicus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were isolated from the abscess. Based on histopathologic examination, the signal characteristics of the capsule on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images were found to be due to the presence of numerous hemosiderin-laden macrophages. These results are in agreement with previous studies on human patients. This report confirms the value of MRI in the diagnosis of equine brain diseases.