Measles-Associated Encephalopathy in Children with Renal Transplants

Authors

  • A. Turner,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
    2. Colchester General Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, Colchester, UK (current address)
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  • D. Jeyaratnam,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
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  • F. Haworth,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
    2. King's Mill Hospital, Department of Microbiology, Sutton in Ashfield, UK (current address)
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  • M. D. Sinha,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
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  • E. Hughes,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
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  • B. Cohen,

    1. Health Protection Agency, Virus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, London, UK
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  • L. Jin,

    1. Health Protection Agency, Virus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, London, UK
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  • I. M. Kidd,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
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  • S. P. A. Rigden,

    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
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  • E. MacMahon

    Corresponding author
    1. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, London, UK
    2. King's College London School of Medicine at Guy's, King's College and St Thomas' Hospitals, Department of Infectious Diseases, St Thomas' Campus, London, UK
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  • Departments/Institutions to which this work is attributable: Departments of Paediatric Nephrology, Infection and Paediatric Neurology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and the Virus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency.

* Corresponding author: E. MacMahon, Eithne.macmahon@gstt.nhs.uk

Abstract

Two children, boys of 8 and 13 years, presented with measles-associated encephalopathy several years after kidney transplantation for congenital nephrotic syndrome. In the absence of prior clinical measles, the neurological symptoms initially eluded diagnosis, but retrospective analysis of stored samples facilitated the diagnosis of measles-associated encephalopathy without recourse to biopsy of deep cerebral lesions. Each had received a single dose of measles mumps and rubella vaccine before 12 months of age. Prior vaccination, reduction of immunosuppression and treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin and ribavirin may have contributed to their survival. Persistent measles virus RNA shedding, present in one child, was not controlled by treatment with i.v. ribavirin. Two years later, both patients continue to have functioning allografts with only minimal immunosuppression. These cases illustrate the difficulty in diagnosing measles-associated encephalopathy in the immunocompromised host, even in the era of molecular diagnostics, and highlight the renewed threat of neurological disease in communities with incomplete herd immunity.

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