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Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis. A case report


A 33-year-old woman three weeks after a febrile illness presented with a syndrome of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia and areflexia (SOAA) that characterizes clinically both Bickerstaff and Miller Fisher syndromes. The normality of the electrophysiological tests performed, the CSF findings and the magnetic resonance images proved that the syndrome stemmed from brainstem pathology.


Viene descritto il caso di una paziente che, tre settimane dopo aver sofferto una sindrome influenzale, presentò un quadro clinico caratterizzato da oftalmoplegia, atassia ed are flessia osteotendinea il quale, come è noto, caratterizza sia la sindrome di Bickerstaff che quella di Miller Fisher. La normalità degli esami neurofisiologici (SEPs, VEPs, BAEPs, studio della VCM, VCS), il reperto liquorale e, soprattutto, l'esame di risonanza magnetica encefalica hanno permesso di ricondurre il quadro sindromico osservato and una compromissione del mesencefalo.

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Correspondence to Camarda R. M..

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Camarda, R.M., Cammalleri, R. & Raimondo, D. Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis. A case report. Ital J Neuro Sci 13, 165–168 (1992).

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Key Words

  • Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis
  • Miller Fisher syndrome
  • SOAA
  • MRI