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JAMA Neurol. 2014 May;71(5):624-9. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.5323.

Transverse myelitis plus syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis plus syndrome: a case series of 5 children.

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Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas3Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas.
Children's Medical Center Dallas, Dallas, Texas4Department of Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas.



Classically, transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis are considered central nervous system demyelinating conditions. In both conditions, the spinal cord is involved to varying degrees, and there is a variety of presentations, usually involving some degree of progressive paralysis of the upper and/or lower extremities. Treatment usually consists of high-dose intravenous steroids in addition to plasma exchange and/or intravenous immunoglobulin. In some cases, immunosuppressive medications, such as intravenous cyclophosphamide, have been used with variable success. Cases with atypical features on examination, imaging, or with neurophysiological studies may be helpful in shedding light on the etiology and/or pathophysiology because many of these patients have permanent disabilities despite appropriate treatment.


This case series presents 5 pediatric cases observed from 2009-2012 at our medical center, Children's Medical Center Dallas. These cases were notable because they provided evidence of autoimmune events affecting the central nervous system but with additional peripheral axonal pathology.


We describe these cases with respect to findings that suggest a variant of these conditions that have concomitant nerve-root involvement. These patients had worse outcomes than typical patients with transverse myelitis/acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and these observations build on previous work by other investigators that highlighted persistent flaccid paralysis and electrophysiological evidence of axonal loss portending a poorer prognosis. Furthermore, these cases suggest a potential role for approaching how we classify subtypes of transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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