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Rasmussen encephalitis

Case contributed by Dr Mustafa Takesh



Patient Data

Age: 4 years
Gender: Male

Selected CT images showing prominence of peripheral CSF-spaces over the left cerebral hemisphere, in particular over the temporal and parietal lobes, with slight enlargement of the ipsilateral lateral ventricle.


MRI 10 years later

Selected MRI images demonstrating left cerebral volume loss, sparing the occipital lobe with ex vacuo dilatation of the left lateral ventricle.

Case Discussion

This patient presented initially with imbalance and then developed to hemiparesis. The diagnosis of Rasmussen’s encephalitis was proven by biopsy of left temporal lobe.

Rasmussen’s encephalitis is a rare unilateral T-cell mediated chronic inflammation in the cerebral cortex, of unknown origin, but likely via autoimmune response. This leads to progressive hemispheric atrophy. 

The most common symptom is medically refractory seizure. This case shows the importance of considering Rasmussen’s encephalitis among the differential diagnosis, even if the classic symptom (seizure) is lacking,

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Case information

rID: 78960
Published: 21st Jun 2020
Last edited: 25th Jun 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included
Institution: McGill University

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