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eISSN: 1643-3750

Probable chronic viral encephalitis with microglial nodules in the entire brain: a case report with necropsy

Toshihiro Imaizumi, Shinya Nishizaka, Mitsuyoshi Ayabe, Hiroshi Shoji, Takashi Ichiyama, Yasuo Sugita

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(5): CS23-26

ID: 16148

Published: 2005-05-05


Background:Chronic encephalitis has rarely been seen, probably due to its viral origins, which may produce the disease in healthy or immunocompromised hosts. The etiology and pathophysiology of these types of encephalitis have not yet been clarified.Case Report:A 63-year-old Japanese woman with underlying multiple myeloma developed chronic encephalitis with fever and progressive dementia, bilateral mild thalamic lesions on magnetic resonance imaging, and a prolonged pleocytosis, normal glucose value, and elevated interleukin-6 and interferon-γ in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The patient died of pneumonia 6 months after the onset of illness, and diffuse microglial nodules were found in the entire brain. No causative viral agents were identified by polymerase chain reaction and serological tests.Conclusions:The patient was presumed to have suffered from chronic viral encephalitis, based on clinical findings, including CSF and cytokine changes. Microglial nodules are observed in flavivirus group encephalitides, Rickettsia infections, and cytomegalovirus encephalitis in immunocompromised hosts. The possible pathogenesis of this rare encephalitis is discussed.

Keywords: Encephalitis, Viral - pathology, Microglia - pathology, Autopsy, Brain - pathology, Chronic Disease, Encephalitis, Viral - pathology, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Microglia - pathology, Middle Aged, Multiple Myeloma - complications



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