Eccentric target sign in cerebral toxoplasmosis: Neuropathological correlate to the imaging feature

G. G.Sharath Kumar, A. Mahadevan, A. S. Guruprasad, Jerry M.E. Kovoor, P. Satishchandra, Avindra Nath, Udaykumar Ranga, S. K. Shankar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Cerebral toxoplasmosis remains one of the most common focal brain lesions in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Diagnosis is a challenge because on cranial imaging it closely mimics central nervous system lymphoma, primary and metastatic central nervous system (CNS) tumors, or other intracranial infections like tuberculoma or abscesses. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) feature on postcontrast T1-weighted sequences considered pathognomonic of toxoplasmosis is the "eccentric target sign." The pathological correlate of this imaging sign has been speculative. Herein we correlate the underlying histopathology to the MR feature of eccentric target sign in a patient with autopsy-proven HIV/AIDS-related cerebral toxoplasmosis. The central enhancing core of the target seen on MRI was produced by a leash of inflamed vessels extending down the length of the sulcus that was surrounded by concentric zones of necrosis and a wall composed of histiocytes and proliferating blood vessels, with impaired permeability producing the peripheral enhancing rim.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1472
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral toxoplasmosis
  • Eccentric target sign
  • HIV
  • MR imaging
  • Pathological correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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