2002 Volume 42 Issue 8 Pages 361-363
A 15-year-old girl presented with meningeal irritation and bilateral cerebral signs after contracting influenza. A lumbar puncture revealed bloody cerebrospinal fluid and polymorphonuclear predominant pleocytosis with an elevated protein level and normal glucose level. Computed tomography showed a hematoma in the right basal ganglia and lateral ventricles. Symmetrical low density areas were also noted in the bilateral white matter. The preliminary diagnosis was hemorrhagic cerebrovascular disease of unknown cause. However, her neurological condition deteriorated. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging showed diffuse high intensity signals in the bilateral white matter and small spotty lesions, indicating hemorrhages in various stages. The final diagnosis was acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHL). However, high-dose steroid administration and plasmapheresis failed to improve her condition. Hypothermia could not control her intracranial pressure and she died 12 days after admission. The neuroimaging findings indicated the histological characteristics of AHL, but the hematoma formation is rare. AHL is a fulminant form of brain demyelination and can be fatal, so early diagnosis and aggressive treatment are important for successful recovery. Therefore, early investigation by MR imaging is necessary.