All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for March 2004

Episodic disseminated inflammation of the central nervous system. Case mix review over a 13 year period

Rev Neurol. 2004 Mar 1-15;38(5):405-10
Lopez Pison J, Garcia Bodega O, Diaz Suarez M, Bajo Delgado AF, Cabrerizo De Diago R, Pena Segura JL.
Hospital Universitario Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Espana.


Episodic disseminated inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS) presents in processes that are difficult to differentiate, such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADE) and its multiphasic variants, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Magnetic resonance imaging allows these problems to be identified more frequently than in the past.


We carried out a retrospective study of the cases of episodic disseminated inflammation of the CNS, according to clinical features and compatible neuroimaging, at the Neuropaediatric Unit of the Hospital Infantil Miguel Servet, between May 1990 and August 2003.


Of the 6777 children evaluated over this period, 10 met the eligibility criteria, with a minimum age at onset of 2 years and 2 months.

In four cases there was a history of an infectious process or vaccination.

Clinical involvement was multisymptomatic, the most frequent being ataxia, dysmetry, tremor, drowsiness, paresis and cranial nerve involvement.

Six of them had cerebrospinal fluid disorders and only two presented disorders in the fundus oculi.

Five of them were given corticoid treatment.

Progress was favourable, except in two cases: one due to the persistence of a corticoid dependent optical neuropathy and the other because of dyskinesia in the right hand.


Diagnosis of ADE is established by signs of multifocal clinical involvement and neuroimaging, and depends on a compatible progression.

Prognosis is generally good and corticoids seem to be effective, at least in shortening the time the clinical features last.

It is not possible to completely differentiate it from MS, especially in recurring forms.

Clinical and magnetic resonance controls must be carried out.