Acute encephalitis with refractory, repetitive partial seizures (AERRPS): a peculiar form of childhood encephalitis

Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Apr;121(4):251-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01198.x. Epub 2009 Dec 17.


Objective: We conducted a nationwide multicenter study in Japan to elucidate the clinical and laboratory characteristics of acute encephalitis with refractory, repetitive partial seizures (AERRPS).

Materials and methods: Clinical and laboratory features, treatment, and outcome were assessed using a structured questionnaire.

Results: Twenty-nine children were enrolled in the study. Refractory and repetitive partial seizures accompanied by fever were the cardinal clinical features. Partial seizures consisted principally of eye deviation or facial twitching, being periodically repeated during the acute phase. These seizures were refractory to conventional anticonvulsants and were only suppressed by high-dose intravenous barbiturate administration. Rhythmic activities on electroencephalography and non-specific cerebral atrophy on neuroimaging were common. Serum or cerebrospinal antibodies against GluRepsilon2 were positive in six patients. General prognosis was unfavorable due to intractable epilepsy and cognitive deficits.

Conclusion: Based on the peculiar and homogenous features, AERRPS can be regarded as a distinct clinical entity.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Atrophy
  • Barbiturates / therapeutic use
  • Cerebrum* / pathology
  • Cerebrum* / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis / drug therapy
  • Encephalitis / pathology*
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsies, Partial / complications
  • Epilepsies, Partial / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fever / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Barbiturates
  • NR2B NMDA receptor
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • barbituric acid