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J Clin Neurosci. 2009 Apr;16(4):589-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2008.06.005. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Symmetrical brainstem encephalitis caused by herpes simplex virus.

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Division of Respirology, Neurology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-machi, Kurume, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan.


We describe a 53-year-old man with herpes simplex virus (HSV) brainstem encephalitis diagnosed based by positive HSV immunoglobulin M antibodies from cerebrospinal fluid. The MRI findings of this case had three unique features. First, the lesions were symmetrical. Second, the lesions may have been associated with reactivation of HSV infection in the region of the trigeminal nerve. Third, diffusion-weighted and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) imaging, conducted for the first time on an HSV brainstem encephalitis case, suggested that the lesions were associated with vasogenic edema.

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