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J Child Neurol. 2007 Nov;22(11):1260-8.

Human herpesvirus 6 rhombencephalitis in immunocompetent children.

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Department of Neurology Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University, Washington District of Columbia, USA.


This article describes the clinical presentation, diagnostic workup, and neurologic outcome of 3 immunocompetent pediatric patients diagnosed with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6) rhombencephalitis. Presentation of HHV6 rhombencephalitis included new onset seizures, ataxia, encephalopathy, and opsoclonus-myoclonus. Neurologic examination revealed cranial neuropathies, cerebellar dysfunction, and extremity weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities located in the cerebellum, basal ganglia/thalamus, and cerebral hemispheres were detected in 2 patients. Diagnosis of HHV6 encephalitis was made by real-time and nested polymerase chain reaction of serum and cerebrospinal fluid. The HHV6 variant A was detected in 2 patients by sequence analysis, and HHV6 protein was detected by immunomicroscopy in a patient who underwent biopsy secondary to progressive clinical and neuroradiographic findings. Therapy with intravenous ganciclovir did not correlate with resolution of neurologic symptoms, despite eventual non-detectable HHV6. Human herpesvirus 6 should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained cases of rhombencephalitis in immunocompetent children. Features may be rapidly progressive and include profound encephalopathy, seizures, ataxia, and opsoclonus-myoclonus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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