Extrarolandic electroclinical findings in the evolution of adult-onset Rasmussen's encephalitis

Sara Casciato, Carlo Di Bonaventura, Jinane Fattouch, Leonardo Lapenta, Giancarlo Di Gennaro, Pier Paolo Quarato, Addolorata Mascia, Vincenzo Esposito, Alfredo Berardelli, Anna Teresa Giallonardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rasmussen's encephalitis (RE) is a rare immunomediated disorder characterized by unilateral hemispheric atrophy, drug-resistant focal epilepsy, and progressive neurological deficits. Its onset typically occurs in childhood, though it has also been reported in adult age (A-RE) with atypical clinical features. The aim of this study was to describe the electroclinical features in a group of seven patients with A-RE.We retrospectively studied seven women aged 23-43. years (mean: 32.1. years) with a diagnosis of RE according to commonly accepted diagnostic criteria. All the patients were clinically evaluated and underwent prolonged video-EEG monitoring, laboratory investigations, and high-resolution MRI follow-up.All the patients displayed an ictal electroclinical pattern whose evolution varied. We identified an early phase characterized by polymorphic ictal electroclinical manifestations (temporal semiology in five cases, frontal in one, and parietal in the remaining case) and a late phase clinically characterized by viscerosensitive phenomena followed by somatosensitive signs, experiential symptoms, and motor signs in all the cases. In the late phase, the ictal EEG pattern was characterized by monomorphic, pseudorhythmic, repetitive slow-wave theta activity over the frontal and central regions, with ipsilateral propagation and/or secondary spreading to contralateral perisylvian structures. Patients were treated with a combination of AEDs and immunotherapy (steroids and IVIg); epilepsy surgery was performed in 3 cases.Our results show that A-RE is characterized by early and late clinical- and EEG-different features which may reflect a progressive involvement of a specific "extrarolandic" network in the advanced phase of the disease and may suggest that the electroclinical expression of RE varies according to the different stages of the pathological process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-473
Number of pages11
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • Adult-onset Rasmussen's encephalitis
  • EEG
  • Electroclinical findings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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