Amoebic encephalitis mimicking acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

A 16-year-old Japanese girl presented with left hemiparesis and coma, following a 2-day history of headache and fever. She had been previously well and no history of a skin wound. MR scan of the brain showed a 6 cm lesion in the right frontal white matter with mass effect and slight edge enhancement (figure 1). A craniotomy was performed for external decompression and brain biopsy. The intraoperative finding was of white matter necrosis rather than tumour or abscess. An interim biopsy showed prominent neutrophil infiltration and fibrinoid necrosis in small vessels but no evidence of a specific pathogen. We suspected either a central nervous system infection or an autoimmune disease such as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and so started antibiotics and pulsed corticosteroids in the intensive care unit.

On day 2, she had mydriasis with a defective pupillary light reflex. Repeat MR scan of brain showed multiple T2 high-intensity lesions with…

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