A Special Case of Relapsing-Remitting Bilateral Encephalitis: Without Epilepsy, but Responding to Rituximab and with a Brain Biopsy Coinciding with Rasmussen Encephalitis

Pei Liu, Xuemei Lin, Shenghua Zong, Yan Yan, Zhongzhong Liu, Qingli Lu, Qiaoqiao Chang, Songdi Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A nine-year-old boy manifested with headache, progressive mild cognitive decline and hemiparesis, but without clinical epileptic seizures (with abnormal EEG waves). Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed bilateral cortical lesions mainly on the right hemisphere, and new lesions developed in frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes around the old lesions presenting as a lace-like or ring-like enhancement in T1 with contrast over a disease course of five years. A suspected diagnosis of primary angiitis of the central nervous system was initially considered. Treated with high-dose corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulins and monthly pulse cyclophosphamide, his symptoms worsened with the intracranial lesion progression. Brain biopsy of the right frontal lobe was performed nearly five years after onset; prominent neuronal loss, a microglial nodule, as well as parenchymal and perivascular lymphocytic infiltrate within the cortex were found, which coincided with RE pathology changes. Encouragingly, after a regimen of rituximab, lesions on the follow-up brain MRI tended to be stable. Apparently, it was immune-mediated, but did not strictly fit any known disease entity, although it was similar to RE. We summarize this unique case, including clinical characteristics, imaging and pathology findings. We also discuss the diagnosis and treatment, focusing on comparison to RE as well as other possible neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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