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Giant cerebral tuberculoma mimicking a high-grade tumour in a child
  1. Magriet Van Niekerk,
  2. Pierre Goussard,
  3. Ronald Van Toorn and
  4. Regan Solomons
  1. Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Professor Pierre Goussard; pgouss{at}


We present an 11-year-old girl who manifested with unprovoked right-sided focal motor seizures. CT revealed a large lobulated hypodense mass in the left temporoparietal lobe, with perilesional oedema and postcontrast peripheral enhancement. Diagnostic uncertainty resulted in further neuroimaging, which included MRI with modalities including diffusion-weighted imaging, perfusion imaging, as well as spectroscopy. We discuss the radiological features of the lesion, which steered us in the direction of an infective cause. Definitive diagnosis was achieved by brain needle biopsy, which demonstrated necrotising granulomatous inflammation indicative of tuberculous infection on histology. In addition, GeneXpert yielded a positive result. We believe this unique case highlights the diagnostic dilemma clinicians face in differentiating ring-enhancing lesions on neuroimaging in tuberculosis-endemic regions. It also highlights the potential benefit of a brain needle biopsy (histology and GeneXpert) in cases of uncertainty.

  • Paediatrics
  • Neurology

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  • Contributors RS, MVN, PG and RVT were involved in the clinical management and follow-up of this patient. All were equally responsible for writing and editing the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.