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J Med Virol. 2002 Oct;68(2):253-63.

Neurological complications of acute and persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection in paediatric patients.

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Department of Paediatrics, Division of Paediatric Neurology, University Hospital, RWTH Aachen, Germany.


Neurological complications of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have been reported almost exclusively in the course of acute primary infections. The role of EBV in paediatric neurological disease was investigated prospectively over a 2-year period, searching for acute primary, chronic, and reactivated EBV infections. Active EBV infections were diagnosed in 10/48 patients, including two with acute primary EBV infections (cranial neuritis and cerebellitis), one with chronic active infection (T/NK cell lymphoma with cranial neuritis), and seven with reactivated infections. Among these seven patients, three showed "Alice in Wonderland" syndrome, one facial nerve palsy, one progressive macrocephaly, and two prolonged encephalitic illness. The prognosis was good except for the patient with lethal T/NK cell lymphoma and the two girls with encephalitic illness. Despite steroid treatment, these girls suffered prolonged cognitive impairment and epileptic seizures. Both developed left-sided hippocampal atrophy, and one of them hippocampal sclerosis. Like primary infections, reactivated EBV infections cause neurological complications in a considerable number of paediatric patients, lead to serious long-term complications, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of hippocampal lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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