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Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in conjunction with inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • Medicine


Neurological complications in paediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are rare. Most previous reports involve cerebral venous thrombosis, central nervous system vasculitis, or peripheral nerve inflammation. We report a child with active inflammatory bowel disease complicated by acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). The child presented with acute neurological deficits following an exacerbation of colitis with evidence of lesions in the central nervous system white matter on magnetic resonance imaging. Ancillary investigations did not provide evidence of systemic infection, coagulation disorders, or vasculitis. In our case the colitis improved with immunosuppressive therapy, with a similar improvement in the white matter lesions showing almost complete resolution of the MR scan changes and no evidence of infarction. This case suggests that ADEM may be another extra intestinal manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease, probably associated with an autoimmune pathogenic mechanism.

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