Transverse myelitis plus syndrome and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis plus syndrome a case series of 5 children

Allen DeSena, Donna Graves, Michael C. Morriss, Benjamin M. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Classically, transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis are considered central nervous system demyelinating conditions. In both conditions, the spinal cord is involved to varying degrees, and there is a variety of presentations, usually involving some degree of progressive paralysis of the upper and/or lower extremities. Treatment usually consists of high-dose intravenous steroids in addition to plasma exchange and/or intravenous immunoglobulin. In some cases, immunosuppressive medications, such as intravenous cyclophosphamide, have been used with variable success. Cases with atypical features on examination, imaging, or with neurophysiological studiesmay be helpful in shedding light on the etiology and/or pathophysiology because many of these patients have permanent disabilities despite appropriate treatment. OBSERVATIONS This case series presents 5 pediatric cases observed from 2009-2012 at our medical center, Children's Medical Center Dallas. These cases were notable because they provided evidence of autoimmune events affecting the central nervous system but with additional peripheral axonal pathology. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE We describe these cases with respect to findings that suggest a variant of these conditions that have concomitant nerve-root involvement. These patients had worse outcomes than typical patients with transverse myelitis/acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and these observations build on previous work by other investigators that highlighted persistent flaccid paralysis and electrophysiological evidence of axonal loss portending a poorer prognosis. Furthermore, these cases suggest a potential role for approaching how we classify subtypes of transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-629
Number of pages6
JournalJAMA neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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