Changing character of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis in the United States

Pediatr Neurol. 1989 Nov-Dec;5(6):339-41. doi: 10.1016/0887-8994(89)90045-3.


We analyzed National Registry data from 575 patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) in the United States to assess changes in patient characteristics and SSPE epidemiology. Racial proportions have changed in recent years with an increasing number of Hispanic patients reported in relation to a constant black:white ratio; however, the male:female ratio of approximately 2:1 has remained. The most striking feature of the data is the rapid decline in SSPE incidence. Corresponding to this decrease is an increase in the proportion of cases following measles vaccination. There also is a shorter incubation period for SSPE following vaccination than after measles infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Measles Vaccine
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / epidemiology*
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / ethnology
  • Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis / microbiology
  • United States


  • Measles Vaccine