Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. MRI findings and the distinction from multiple sclerosis

Brain. 1990 Apr;113 ( Pt 2):291-302. doi: 10.1093/brain/113.2.291.


Brain MRI was performed on 12 patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Multifocal white matter lesions indistinguishable from those seen in multiple sclerosis (MS) were found in 10. In 5 there were rather extensive symmetric abnormalities in the cerebral (2) or cerebellar white matter (2), or basal ganglia (1). Follow-up MRI after intervals of 2 wks to 18 months demonstrated partial resolution of the abnormalities, but some persisting lesions. New MRI lesions were found at follow-up in only 1 case after an interval of 2 wks. Serial MRI makes a useful contribution to the distinction between MS and ADEM.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalomyelitis / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*