What is the clinical history characteristic of multiphasic acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: J Nicholas Brenton, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Multiphasic ADEM

  • Individuals who have experienced typical ADEM are at risk for recurrence. As many as 10% of children with an initial diagnosis of ADEM experience another ADEM attack, typically within the first 2-8 years after the initial attack. [85]

  • Included under the entity of “multiphasic ADEM” are new events of ADEM 3 months or more after the initial attack that can be associated with new or re-emergence of prior clinical and/or MRI findings. [59]

    • Relapsing disease that follows a second ADEM attack is, by definition, no longer consistent with a diagnosis of multiphasic ADEM. Typically, these cases represent a chronic neuro-inflammatory disorder (such as MS or NMO). [59]

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