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History of Neurology
January 2004

Cat-Scratch Encephalopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Seah and Newman and Mr Azran), Neurology (Dr Newman), and Neurological Surgery (Dr Newman), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga; and Department of Neurology, Singapore General Hospital (Dr Seah).



Arch Neurol. 2004;61(1):145-147. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.1.145

The first case of encephalopathy associated with cat-scratch disease was published more than 50 years ago.1 At that time, cat-scratch disease itself had been described only recently in the English-language literature, by Greer and Keefer,2 but without allusion to neurologic involvement. As they reported, an acute febrile illness affecting patients with a history of close contact with cats or kittens had been noted since 1932 by Lee Foshay, MD, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who coined the term cat-scratch disease and prepared an antigen that he used for skin testing in similar patients. However, these cases were not reported, and the condition was not widely known.