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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2001 Apr;22(4):677-80.

Imaging findings in rabies encephalitis.

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Department of Radiology, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.


Rabies encephalitis is perhaps one of the few infectious diseases that command attention and fear not only from the layman but also from physicians. The unique mode of transmission, the virtually exclusive neurotransmission shown by the agent, and the complete hopelessness of the established disease sets rabies apart from other zoonoses transmitted to man. Rabies encephalitis is a fatal disease and its diagnosis is usually based on the clinical presentations and findings. Hence, imaging in rabies is seldom done, and imaging findings in rabies encephalitis have rarely been described. We present the imaging findings in two confirmed cases of rabies encephalitis in which antemortem diagnosis was obtained by corneal impression smears showing the presence of viral antigens. The differential diagnosis of the imaging findings as well as the role and the relevance of imaging in the diagnosis of this disease are discussed. The current literature on the subject is also reviewed.

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