Acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late restricted diffusion on MRI in a Japanese child living in the USA

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2008 Sep;50(9):717-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03080.x.


We report an 18-month-old Japanese female living in the USA whose clinical course and radiographic findings were consistent with acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion (AESD). She was initially diagnosed with complex febrile seizures. However, on day 3 of admission, she had a cluster of complex partial seizures and the onset of a global developmental regression. In contrast to the normal magnetic resonance image of the brain obtained on admission, subsequent imaging demonstrated transient subcortical diffusion-weighted abnormalities in the white matter of the bilateral posterosuperior frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital regions, with sparing of the perirolandic area. One year later, her developmental delay, although improved, persisted and she continued to experience sporadic seizures while being treated with topiramate monotherapy. Repeat imaging showed diffuse, poorly defined, increased T2 signals in the white matter of the posterosuperior frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions and diffuse cerebral volume loss. Previous reports of AESD have been limited to children aged under 4 years living in Japan. With the identification of this case, it is important that all physicians, not only those in Japan, who care for children with febrile seizures be aware of AESD and its associated neurological morbidity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Seizures / diagnosis*