Glioblastoma Multiforme Mimicking Limbic Encephalitis

Joana Nunes, Sílvia Carvalho, Paula Gouveia, Motasem Shamasna, Bruno Costa, José Luis Alves, Armando Rocha, Rui Pedro Pais


Selective and bilateral involvement of the limbic system by gliomas is rarely reported. The authors report the case of a 58 years-male complaining of short-term memory loss in the preceding three weeks. The initial MRI revealed areas of hyperintensity on T2 and FLAIR sequences involving both hippocampus, amygdala, parahippocampus gyrus and the fornix, with contrast enhancement in the right mesial temporal region. Limbic encephalitis diagnosis was assumed and steroid therapy was applied. All other evaluation work-up was negative and follow-up imaging was compatible with tumor. The neuropathologic study of the right temporal lesion revealed glioblastoma multiforme. Glioblastoma can crossover through the commissural white matter to the opposite cerebral hemisphere, most often through the corpus callosum. However, selective and bilateral invasion of the limbic system is rare and when it occurs it may mimic limbic encephalitis.

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