Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 816–822 | Cite as

Putaminal involvement in Rasmussen encephalitis

  • Bhagavatheeswaran Rajesh
  • Chandrasekharan Kesavadas
  • Radhakrishnan Ashalatha
  • Bejoy Thomas
Original Article



Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) is a rare devastating disease of childhood causing progressive neurological deficits and intractable seizures, typically affecting one hemisphere. Characteristic MRI features include progressive unihemispheric focal cortical atrophy and grey- or white-matter high-signal changes and basal ganglion involvement, particularly of the caudate nucleus.


To analyse the pattern of involvement of different brain structures in a series of patients with RE and to attempt clinical correlation.

Materials and methods

We reviewed the medical records and neuroimaging data of 12 patients diagnosed with RE satisfying the European Consensus Statement diagnostic criteria.


The disease manifested as seizures in all patients and was refractory; epilepsia partialis continua was a notable feature (nine patients). Hemiparesis of varying grades was noted in all but one patient; none had extrapyramidal signs. Neuroimaging showed cortical involvement in the insular/periinsular regions in 11 patients. Caudate atrophy was noted in ten patients. Putaminal atrophy was seen in nine patients, six of whom had additional hyperintense signal changes.


Our study highlights frequent putaminal atrophy and signal changes in RE, which suggests a more extensive basal ganglion involvement than emphasized previously. Recognition of putaminal changes may be a useful additional tool in the radiological diagnosis of RE.


Rasmussen encephalitis Basal ganglia Putamen MRI Epilepsy Children 



We thank Prof. V. V. Radhakrishnan, for providing the histopathological slides.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bhagavatheeswaran Rajesh
    • 1
  • Chandrasekharan Kesavadas
    • 2
  • Radhakrishnan Ashalatha
    • 1
  • Bejoy Thomas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologySree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and TechnologyTrivandrumIndia
  2. 2.Department of Imaging Sciences and Interventional RadiologySree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and TechnologyTrivandrumIndia

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