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By Location

Last Updated: March 4, 2019

This chapter is composed of a series of tables, which contain a differential list for a given intracranial location. The abbreviations used within these tables are listed at the end of this chapter. This is a reference for building a quick differential diagnosis during patient Rounds.

Table 1: Posterior Cranial Fossa
​Differential list for posterior cranial fossa lesions
  • Metastatic (solitary or numerous)
  • Hemangioblastoma (solitary or numerous, cystic nodule)
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma (cystic irregularly enhancing nodule)
  • Brainstem glioma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Ependymoma
  • Cerebellar liponeurocytoma
  • Choroid plexus tumor
  • Dysplastic gangliocytoma (enlargement of folia on MRI)
  • Infarction
  • Intracerebellar hemorrhage (hypertensive, neoplastic)
  • Cavernous malformation (solitary or multiple)
  • Aneurysm
  • AVM
  • Abscess (solitary or multiple)
  • Dandy-Walker malformation
  • Epidermoid cyst
  • Neurenteric cyst
  • Arachnoid cyst
  • Cerebellar hemangioblastoma
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • Mega cisterna magna
CPA Lesions
  • See expanded section below for CPA differential list
Table 2: Cerebellopontine Angle
Differential list for cerebellopontine angle lesions
  • Vestibular Schwannoma (acoustic neuroma, ~75% of CPA lesions)
  • Meningiomas (~6% of CPA lesions)
  • Epidermoid cyst (hyperintense on DWI, c...