Brain Tumor or Inflammatory Granuloma

Q: Dear sir, what is difference between granuloma and brain tumor and what is the effect in early stage?
-By Durgesh Shukla


A tumor is a cluster of cells formed due to abnormal growth of cells in a particular area. The mass of cells hence produced presses over the normal adjoining tissues. It may trigger some inflammation in the area or may even get necrosed (rotten).

Whereas, a granuloma is a result of inflammation produced in a particular area of the brain in response to some infective cause, may be a parasite, or some infection.

So, both of them are conceptually very different.

However, as you can understand, the two lesions have some common patterns of behavior.

They are:

  • They are both SOL, that is, space occupying lesions. So, both put pressure over the normal adjoining tissues and affect their functioning. This may produce symptoms.
  • Both these lesions may produce a picture of inflammation in the affected area.
  • A granuloma may produce pus like material of inflammation. Similarly, a tumor may also rot or get necrosed to produce such a material.
  • It is possible for a granuloma to get calcified with time and stay dormant for years. A tumor may also stay dormant for years.

Because their patterns of behavior are similar, symptoms produced by them are also similar. No symptom can be said to be diagnostic of one condition.

They are both SOLs and like many other SOLs, they share common symptoms.

Common Symptoms of SOLs

  • Headaches, due to increased pressure inside the skull.
  • Seizures, generalized or focal
  • Weakness or even paralysis of a particular group of muscles of the body, depending upon the part of the brain affected.
  • Changes in mood or overall personality.
  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting.
  • Change in any brain function like vision, hearing, speech or alertness.
  • Loosing bladder control or loss of overall balance.

SOLs may give any type of symptoms depending upon the area of the brain they affect. 

How to Differentiate Between a Brain Tumor and a Granuloma?

This can be done only on the basis of diagnostic investigations. Actual visualization of the lesion is required. You need to go for an MRI or CT scan of the brain.

An expert neurosurgeon would be the best to see for such conditions.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Intracranial Tumor Vs Granuloma

  1. Uppala Naveen

    Calcified Granuloma right parietal region. This is CT report.
    My problem is sudden attack of fits. How to solve my problem. My family is very poor. Please help me. Sir, I am just 17 years old.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      A granuloma is a space occupying lesion in the brain. It presses over the surrounding brain tissue and may produce symptoms like headache or fits.

      Till the granuloma gets resolved, there is a risk of getting fits.

      You will have to take anti epileptic medicines in a low dose as a prophylaxis (prevention). These medicines would prevent the occurrence of fits. You may talk to your doctor about this.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This works by dissolving clots obstructing blood flow to vital organs. Given as an emergency treatment in heart attacks and strokes.

      However, the medicine works only when given within 2 to 3 hours of the event.


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