Acute encephalitis associated with measles: MRI features

Neuroradiology. 2003 Feb;45(2):100-6. doi: 10.1007/s00234-002-0884-x. Epub 2002 Dec 18.


We document the MRI features in six patients aged 5-14 years with acute encephalitis following measles. The diagnosis was made on a characteristic morbiliform rash and detection of specific IgM and IgG antibodies. The symptoms of encephalitis occurred 1-11 days after the appearance of the rash. All patients underwent MRI within 1-4 days of the onset of neurological symptoms. Diffusion weighted images (DWI) were obtained in three patients. In all patients, T2-weighted images showed widely distributed, multifocal high signal in both cerebral hemispheres with swelling of the cortex, with bilateral, symmetrical involvement of the putamen and caudate nucleus. The lesions had showed low apparent diffusion coefficients. Three patients showed subacute gyriform haemorrhage, and asymmetrical gyriform contrast enhancement on follow-up MRI.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Measles / complications*
  • Measles / diagnosis