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January 11, 1980

Acute Cerebellar Ataxia Associated With Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and the Program in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, University of Texas Medical School, Houston (Drs Cleary and Pickering); and the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Virology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Dr Henle).

JAMA. 1980;243(2):148-149. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300280046028

MENINGOENCEPHALITIS, Bell's palsy, transverse myelitis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome has been associated with infectious mononucleosis. Recently, patients with these neurologic complications have had serologic studies performed that link these conditions to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections.1,2 The association of acute cerebellar ataxia with infectious mononucleosis is rare in adults3-9 and children,10 and patients with this condition have not had extensive serologic confirmation of EBV infections. We describe here a child who had an EBV infection manifesting as acute cerebellar ataxia.

Report of a Case  A 7-year-old girl was admitted to the pediatric service of the University of Texas Medical School, Houston, with a four-week history of increasing clumsiness and ataxia. Several days prior to the development of difficulty walking, she had complained of headache, nausea, and vomiting. She did not have sore throat, fever, or rash. The only medication she was receiving was aspirin. Physical examination showed a temperature