Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis associated with Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection

Acta Paediatr Jpn. 1996 Feb;38(1):46-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200x.1996.tb03434.x.


An 8 year old girl with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is described. Elevated serum antibody titers suggested recent Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. T2-weighted image of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) disclosed multiple lesions of high signal intensity in bilateral basal ganglia and thalami as well as in the white matter. Postcontrast T1-weighted image revealed an enhanced lesion in the deep white matter. She showed rapid clinical improvement in response to corticosteroid therapy. The lesions had disappeared completely on MRI performed 10 weeks after the onset. ADEM is believed to be a demyelinating disorder of probable autoimmune etiology. MRI findings in this case may support the hypothesis that the primary pathological event is vascular injury and demyelination occurs only as a secondary phenomenon.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Basal Ganglia / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / diagnosis
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / diagnosis
  • Thalamus / pathology


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA