West nile virus encephalitis involving the substantia nigra: neuroimaging and pathologic findings with literature review

Arch Neurol. 2003 Oct;60(10):1448-52. doi: 10.1001/archneur.60.10.1448.


West Nile virus has become a medically important arbovirus in the continental United States with its debut in 1999 in the New York City area. We present neuroimaging features and pathologic findings in 2 patients who were severely affected out of the more that 100 documented cases at our institution. Both patients showed striking involvement of the substantia nigra, a finding not previously reported for West Nile virus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Edema / etiology
  • Brain Edema / pathology
  • Coma / etiology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Hydrocephalus / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Status Epilepticus / etiology
  • Substantia Nigra / pathology*
  • West Nile Fever / complications
  • West Nile Fever / pathology*
  • West Nile Fever / psychology