Multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis mimicking multiple sclerosis

Min Lan Tsai, Kun Long Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We report a case of multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis (MDEM) following viral illness presenting as multiple sclerosis (MS) in a 7-year-old boy. The patient had two episodes of alternating hemiparesis and other neurologic symptoms following viral infection, which were separated by 3 years. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated multiple, discrete, small nodules and large globular lesions in the cerebral white matter, basal ganglia, brainstem and cerebellar areas. Based on typical appearance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical manifestations including systemic symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, headache and seizures followed by consciousness disturbance and other multifocal neurologic signs, the diagnosis of MDEM rather than that of MS was made. Because it is difficult to differentiate between MDEM and MS on the basis of the clinical history, the cerebrospinal fluid examination and evoked potential studies, this report emphasizes that the MRI study of the brain may provide an important clue for the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-414
Number of pages3
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multiphasic disseminated encephalomyelitis
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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