Clinical profile of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2008 Aug;18(8):485-8.


Objective: To describe the clinical manifestations of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis in children.

Study design: Case series.

Place and duration of study: This study was conducted in the Department of Neurology at The Children's Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, Lahore, from April 2005 to April 2007.

Methodology: Fifty patients were diagnosed as subacute sclerosing panencephalitis during the study period. Their diagnosis was based on a detailed history, clinical examination, presence of antimeasles antibodies in Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and typical electroencephalogram (EEG). The findings were described as average, mean and percentages.

Results: Fifty patients were included in this study. The average age of the patients was 8 years. Thirty-eight (76%) were males and 12 (24%) were females. The average duration of symptoms before presentation was 66.72 days. History of measles infection was present in 31 patients (62%) and measles vaccination in 43 patients (86%). Motor regression was present in all (100%) patients and cognition decline in 43 patients (86%). Seizures were focal (10%), generalized tonicclonic (16%) and myoclonic (74%). Burst-suppression pattern Electroencephalogram (EEG) and the antimeasles antibody in CSF were positive in 100% of patients.

Conclusion: SSPE is an indicator of high incidence of measles infection among the paediatric population even among vaccinated children. Males are more common sufferers. SSPE can present with different types of seizures, cognition decline and motor regression being supported by suggestive EEG and presence of anti-measles antibodies in CSF.

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / drug therapy
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / physiopathology


  • Anticonvulsants