Rasmussen encephalitis and comorbid autoimmune diseases: A window into disease mechanism?

Neurology. 2014 Sep 16;83(12):1049-55. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000791. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Objective: To describe a potential association between comorbid autoimmune disease and Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) and discuss potential insights into underlying RE pathogenesis.

Methods: We report a case series of 4 patients with RE in whom a comorbid autoimmune disease was subsequently diagnosed and review the literature on possible common susceptibility factors.

Results: In 4 patients who presented with typical clinical features of RE, a comorbid autoimmune disease was subsequently diagnosed: Hashimoto thyroiditis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. We discuss the possible common predisposing factors.

Conclusions: The association of RE, a rare entity, with a comorbid autoimmune disease raises the possibility of shared mechanisms of susceptibility, including common immunogenetic and/or environmental risk factors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Encephalitis / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hashimoto Disease / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors