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April 29, 1974

Diagnosis of Subacute Panencephalitis: The Value and Availability of Measles Antibody Determinations

Author Affiliations

From the Infectious Diseases Branch and the Office of Biometry (Mr. Rubinstein), National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1974;228(5):604-606. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230300044028

The presence of measles antibody in the spinal fluid and elevated serum measles titers strongly suggests that the patient has subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). Conversely, the absence of measles antibody in the spinal fluid of a patient makes the diagnosis very unlikely, if the results of repeated tests are negative. The single most valuable determination is the complement fixation test for measles antibody in the cerebral spinal fluid. State and territorial laboratories that now perform the antibody determinations are identified in this report.

(JAMA 228:604-606, 1974)