, Volume 156, Issue 9, pp 709-712

Acute disseminated demyelination due to primary human herpesvirus-6 infection

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A previously healthy 19-month-old boy developed acute encephalopathy, thrombocytopenia and hepatic dysfunction. Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) DNA was found in his CSF during the acute stage of the disease by means of the polymerase chain reaction. T2-weighted MRI revealed high signal intensity in the left thalamus and left parieto-occipital deep white matter. The myelin basic protein concentration in the CSF was elevated suggesting acute demyelination. The patient is now 2.5 years old and has no sequelae.

Conclusion Since clinical course and neuroimaging after HHV-6 infection are similar to those in acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, clinicians must pay attention to primary HHV-6 infection in patients under 2 years old with white matter lesions.

Received: 17 December 1996 / Accepted: 25 February 1997