An 8-year-old girl showed symptoms of encephalitis during acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. The diagnosis of EB virus infection was made by changes in the titres of EB virus-specific antibody. Cranial MRI demonstrated abnormal low and high signal intensities in the striatal body (putamen and caudate nucleus) on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images, respectively, during the acute phase. These abnormal findings had almost completely resolved 1 month later. EBV infection should be considered when lesions are localised to the basal ganglia.