Eye of the tiger sign (globus pallidus)

The eye of the tiger sign refers to abnormal low T2 signal on MRI (due to abnormal accumulation of iron) in the globus pallidus with a longitudinal stripe of high signal (due to gliosis and spongiosis). 

The eye of the tiger sign is most classically associated with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration​ 1-3 although it is not pathognomonic 5. There are no formalized criteria for the sign 6, and other conditions may demonstrate a similar appearance, such as Wilson disease 7, atypical parkinsonism 8, and organophosphate poisoning 9; it may also be a normal finding on a 3T magnet 6. Therefore, caution should be used when interpreting this sign.

Inspired signs
Share article

Article information

rID: 1311
Section: Signs
Tag: stub, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Globus pallidus T2 hypointensity
  • Eye of the tiger
  • Eye of the tiger sign
  • Eye of tiger sign

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: probable Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.