Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 234–241 | Cite as

Chronic encephalitis in children with severe immuno-deficiency

  • A. D. Dayan
Original Investigations


The brains have been examined of 24 children with thymic alymphoplasia who suffered from severe humoral and cellular immunological deficiencies.

In 11 of them there was extensive gliosis of the brain stem, and in 5, a subacute polioencephalitis restricted to this region. The appearances suggested a chronic viral infection of the brain, and electron microscopy of one case has revealed rounded intra-nuclear probable virions 18–22 nm in diameter.

The chronic scarring and sparse inflammatory lesions resemble a ‘degeneration’ rather than a typical inflammatory disorder, and mimic viral encephalitis in immunosuppressed animals. The possibility is discussed that other degenerative disorders of the nervous system in man might be due to virus infections associated with impaired immunity.

Key words

Encephalitis Immuno-Deficiency Children Brain Stem Gliosis Slow Virus Virions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Dayan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Department of NeuropathologyHospital for Sick ChildrenLondon
  2. 2.Dept. of NeuropathologyThe National Hospitals for Nervous DiseasesLondonEngland

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