MRI studies in 26 patients, ages 3 to 25 years, with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) are reported from the Departments of Pediatric Neurology and Radiology, Hacettepe University, and SSK Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey. Lesions of high signal intensity on T2-weighted images were present in the cerebral cortex and subcortical and periventricular white matter. A local mass effect occurred in 5 patients. White matter involvement extended to the splenium of the corpus callosum, whereas basal ganglia, thalamic nuclei, and brainstem were spared. Parenchymal lesions had a weak correlation with clinical symptoms and signs, especially motor and visual symptoms. Periventricular lesions and cerebral atrophy showed no clinical correlation. [1]

COMMENT. The MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of SSPE. The presenting symptoms are usually myoclonic jerks and mental deterioration. A positive titer of measles antibodies in the CSF and a characteristic EEG are additional manifestations.