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Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
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Brain MRI in epstein–Barr virus meningoencephalitis in children


1 Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Chandigarh, India
4 Department of Immunopathology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
5 Department of Pediatrics, Medanta, The Medicity, Gurugram, Haryana; Former: Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Pratibha Singhi,
Department of Pediatric Neurology and Neurodevelopment, Medanta, The Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_537_19

Background and Purpose: Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) meningoencephalitis can have variable and nonspecific brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in children. This study was done with the purpose of describing brain MRI findings in children with EBV meningoencephalitis. Materials and Methods: The study included 45 pediatric patients that presented with variable neurological symptoms and were found to have EBV meningoencephalitis based on positive EBV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the cerebrospinal fluid. All these patients had undergone brain MRI. Clinical and radiological features were evaluated. Results: Fever was a presenting feature in all cases. Signs of meningitis and raised intracranial pressure (ICP) were seen in 24 (53.3%) cases, encephalopathy in 15 (33.3%), and seizures were present in 33 (73.3%). MRI was abnormal in 29 (64.4%) patients. The cortical/subcortical pattern was diagnosed in 9 (20%) cases, white matter involvement in 7 (15.5%), basal ganglia in 5 (11.1%), thalamic involvement in 4 (8.8%), brain stem involvement in 2 (6.2%), substantia nigra involvement in 2 (4.4%), and cerebellar involvement in 2 (4.4%). Diffusion restriction was present in 11 (24.4%) cases and susceptibility changes in 7 (15.5%). Meningeal enhancement was present in 10 (22.2%) cases. In addition, brain abscess and subdural effusion/empyema were present in 1 (2.2%) case each. Conclusion: Pediatric EBV meningoencephalitis has varied clinicoradiological spectrum and there is no specific MRI pattern to characterize the meningoencephalitis on imaging. Common MRI findings include cortical-subcortical involvement, white matter changes, basal ganglia, and thalamic involvement.


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