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June 1978

The Thymus in Infants With Perinatal Telencephalic Leukoencephalopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology and Pathology, Children's Hospital Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1978;35(6):377-381. doi:10.1001/archneur.1978.00500300051009

• Selected organ weights and body measurements of infants with perinatal telencephalic leukoencephalopathy (PTL) were compared to those of infants without cerebral white matter abnormalities. Although infants with PTL tended to have lower values of all weights and measurements, only thymus and spleen weights were significantly lower in infants with PTL. Infants with PTL were much more likely than infants without PTL to have thymic atrophy histologically. These findings are compatible with hypotheses that PTL and its correlates—thymus atrophy and reduced organ weights—are manifestations of undernutrition, viral infection, and/or exposure to endotoxin.