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Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and brain stem involvement: a rare combination
  1. Heena Kathuria,
  2. Nandita Prabhat,
  3. Ritu Shree and
  4. Rajveer Singh
  1. Department of Neurology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rajveer Singh; rajveersaharan{at}


Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a progressive lethal neurological inflammatory disease due to persistent, wild measles virus infection in the central nervous system that is seen most frequently in children and young adolescents. Atypical presentations are seen in up to 10% of cases. Most frequently and severely affected region in the brain is the parieto-occipital region of the brain. Less commonly involved organs are the cerebellum, basal ganglia and corpus callosum. Brainstem involvement is rare and usually occurs when other areas of brain are involved along with it. Here, we describe an unusual male patient of 15 years age, having SSPE with MRI of brain showing extensive involvement of brainstem with no significant involvement of other cortical structures of the brain. It is very rarely described in SSPE, but one should be vigilant about such involvement of brainstem and cerebellum, and SSPE should not be missed when brainstem hyperintensities are seen in MRI brain with or without other region of the brain to avoid misdiagnosis.

  • brain stem / cerebellum
  • infection (neurology)

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  • Contributors HK: involved in care of the patient; acquisition of data; manuscript preparation. NP : drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content. RSh: manuscript revision and correction. RSi: concept of paper and final approval.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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