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Pediatrics. 2007 May;119(5):e1121-5. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

Brain abnormalities in patients with hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome.

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.



Hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome is a multisystem disorder with abnormalities of the immunologic, connective tissue, and skeletal tissue systems. Central nervous system abnormalities have not been considered a feature of hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome. We aimed to determine whether central nervous system abnormalities detected on brain MRI exist in hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome and to characterize any identified abnormalities.


Fifty patients aged from 3 to 52 years (mean: 24 years) with established diagnoses of hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome had MRI of the brain as part of an hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome natural history protocol. Abnormalities were described, measured, counted, and mapped. Patient charts were reviewed for neurologic findings and blood pressure measurements.


Focal brain lesions exhibiting high signal intensities on flow-attenuated inversion recovery and on T2-weighted techniques were found in 35 of the 50 patients. The focal hyperintensities were predominantly in the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres, and the number ranged from 2 to >50. The hyperintensities occurred more frequently in adults than in children, and no association with elevated blood pressure was found. Five patients had lacunar infarctions. Chiari type 1 malformations were found in 9 of 50 patients. Two patients had infectious complications presenting on MRI as cerebritis in 1 patient and as a hemorrhagic infarct in the other; both were found on autopsy to be fungal. Neurologic abnormalities were present in 1 patient with a lacunar infarction, the 2 patients with infectious complications, and in 1 patient with a subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to a berry aneurysm.


Central nervous system abnormalities are common in hyperimmunoglobulin E syndrome. Focal T2 hyperintensities, not appreciated previously, represent a prominent feature of this rare disease that may assist in diagnosis. The etiology and clinical implications of these abnormalities remain to be investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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