We report serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and follow-up in a case of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) presenting with limited lesions followed by early and complete resolution. We searched the literature for documented cases and reviewed MRI findings before treatment. A 30-year-old Lebanese man, who had lived in Gabon for six years, presented with a two-year history of rash, anorexia, weight loss, arthralgia, paresthesia, and hypersomnia. Previously, the patient had received corticosteroid therapy for unconfirmed ANCA-associated vasculitis. Physical examination revealed a painless chancre on the left arm located at the site of an old insect bite, enlarged cervical, axillar and inguinal lymph nodes, hepatosplenomegaly and impaired concentration. Blood analysis showed an elevated protein level (90g/L) with hypoalbuminemia (24.2g/L) and elevated IgM (26.4g/L). Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy failed to detect any parasite. Polymerase chain reaction tests on blood and cerebrospinal fluid were positive for Trypanosoma. Serology tests confirmed the diagnosis of HAT due to Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infection. 3T MRI showed lesions in the hypothalamus and basal ganglia, the internal capsule, and the mesencephalon bilaterally. Follow-up MRI showed interval progression of the abnormalities. Treatment with melarsoprol was followed by clinical improvement with regression of the lesions on the three-month MRI, then total resolution at the 10-month follow-up. This case highlights a pattern of mild MRI lesions in T. brucei gambiense HAT with a total and rapid resolution under treatment. The literature review (16 HAT cases with sufficient radiological data, included ours) revealed an MRI pattern of brain lesion distribution that could be helpful for diagnosis and orienting biological tests.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, Sleeping sickness, MRI, Hypothalamus, Human African trypanosomiasis, Encephalitis