Brain-stem listeriosis: A comparison of SPECT and MRI findings
Listeria monocytogenes, although uncommon as a cause of illness in the general population, can result in serious illness when it affects pregnant women, neonates, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. Typically, it is a food-borne organism. This report describes a case of brain-stem listeriosis in a previously healthy 51-year-old woman. The diagnosis was based on clinical findings, the results of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, CSF culture, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. MRI demonstrated upper brain stem and cerebellar peduncle involvement. In addition, Tc-99m exametazime (HMPAO)-labeled single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) of the brain revealed bilateral cerebellar hypoperfusion. Antibiotic therapy resulted in partial clinical recovery after 3 weeks. At the end of 6 months, brainstem findings had nearly resolved. However, although minimal residual findings were observed on MRI at 6 months, bilateral diffuse cerebellar hypoperfusion remained on Tc-99m HMPAO brain SPECT. ©2006 Medscape.