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Article
April 1972

Subacute Encephalitis and Congenital Hypogammaglobulinemia

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan
From the departments of medicine (Drs. White and Kirkpatrick), pathology (Dr. Kepes), and pediatrics (Dr. Schimke), University Hospital, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan.

Arch Neurol. 1972;26(4):359-365. doi:10.1001/archneur.1972.00490100089010
Abstract

The clinical and pathological data of a patient with congenital hypogammaglobulinemia who developed a subacute panencephalitis are presented. The inability of the patient to produce circulating (humoral) antibodies renders unlikely an antibodymediated pathogenesis of the encephalitis. A review of the available data suggests that patients with subacute encephalitis may have a partial rather than generalized deficiency in the immune response. Such a partial deficiency may allow for persistence of the virus for prolonged periods of time. Any alteration in host-virus relationship might result in uncontrolled viral replication and the appearance of a modified form of disease, such as subacute encephalitis. Since subacute encephalitis may occur in patients with normal as well as with deficient humoral immunity, it is probable that cellular immune factors are of greater importance in resistance to slow virus infections.

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