[Skip to Navigation]
March 1964

Measles Encephalitis: Report of 61 Cases

Author Affiliations

A. C. La Boccetta, MD, Philadelphia General Hospital, 34th St and Curie Ave, Philadelphia, Pa 19104.; Formerly Medical Director, Philadelphia General Hospital, Northern Division, presently Medical Director and Chief of Contagious Disease Service, Philadelphia General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Jefferson Medical College (Dr. La Boccetta); formerly Visiting Neurologist, Philadelphia General Hospital, Northern Division, presently Chief of Neurology Section, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Neurology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (Dr. Tornay).

Am J Dis Child. 1964;107(3):247-255. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02080060249005

From 1947 to 1957 inclusive, 61 patients with measles encephalitis were treated at the Philadelphia General Hospital, Northern Division. In this 11-year period, 70,943 cases of measles were reported to the Philadelphia Department of Health. Since this hospital was the only contagious disease hospital in the city, it can be assumed that the majority, if not all, patients with measles requiring hospitalization were referred to this facility. It is estimated from these statistics that the frequency of clinical encephalitis complicating measles is approximately 1/1,000 reported cases of measles. This ratio is consistent with the rate previously reported by us.1

The purpose of this study is to review the disease, its sequelae, the mortality, evaluate the therapeutic effect of immune substances including γ-globulin, and to compare the results of treatment in this group with a similar group of 50 patients in a prior period not treated with immune substances or