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A 29-year-old pregnant woman with worsening left hemiparesis, encephalopathy, and hemodynamic instability: a case report of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

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A 29-year-old pregnant woman developed progressively worsening encephalopathy, left hemiparesis, and hemodynamic instability over a 6-week period. Initial brain MRI and work-up for infectious and autoimmune causes were normal, although elevated IgG and oligoclonal bands were seen on analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). After uncomplicated spontaneous delivery of a preterm healthy infant, her condition worsened. Repeat brain MRI demonstrated generalized volume loss and evidence of corticospinal tract degeneration. She underwent a brain biopsy, which showed characteristic viral inclusions of the type seen in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). The diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy, and additional CSF analysis also showed markedly elevated IgG titer for measles. Sequence analysis of the nucleoprotein gene N-450 demonstrated a close relationship to the sequences of viruses in genotype D7. This case documents an ~ 6-month progression to death of SSPE in a pregnant woman.

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