Imaging modality has yet another discovery to its credit. Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry (MRS) as is it called is a safe, non-surgical method of identifying brain infections such as brain abscess, and an accurate and rapid way of diagnosing meningitis. The new method will also help distinguish between brain tumor and other types of brain infection in a simple but effective way.
Several hundred serious brain infections such as abscesses and meningitis are diagnosed in patients all over the world. Neurological infections require immediate identification and treatment. Due to various reasons, there has always been a difficulty in accurately and rapidly diagnosing an infection, in both children and adults.
Currently available tests such as CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cannot clearly distinguish between different brain infections and other brain disorders such as tumours. This means patients often have to undergo invasive and dangerous brain surgery to diagnose their illness before treatment with antibiotics can begin.
Using standard hospital MRI equipment, clinicians can now use a technique called Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry (MRS) to accurately and quickly differentiate between tumor and infection. As technology advances, and hospitals obtain more powerful MRI equipment, doctors will also be able to identify the type of infection, meaning patients can receive immediate treatment.
In the past, patients who may have been successfully treated with something as simple as antibiotics have had to go through general anaesthesia and risky brain surgery before treatment has started.
The present option will now enable these dangerous infections to be picked up quickly, simply and cost effectively. The same kind of test on spinal fluid samples can be used to rapidly diagnose meningitis, a particular problem in children, leading to more targeted treatment and better outcomes.