Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is devastating progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system by an aberrant measles virus. SSPE is still important health problem in countries where measles immunization is incomplete and in world regions where genetic polymorphism to this particular infection is present. We aimed to make a retrospective analysis of the clinical and laboratory findings and prognostic factors of children with SSPE.
Method A total 55 consecutive cases (22 female, 33 male), aged 5–19 years, followed-up for SSPE at the Pediatric Neurology Department were included. The risk factors for progression time of SSPE from stage I–II to IV according to the criteria of Jabbour examined were gender, age at diagnosis of SSPE, presence of neuroimaging abnormalities, age of patient during measles infection and the antibody index for measles. SSPE risk factors were obtained through a questionnaire via personal interviews and the medical records and were assessed using Mann-Whitney U, Student t and Pearson correlation tests.
Results Presence of neuroimaging abnormalities, gender, age at diagnosis of SSPE, presence of neuroimaging abnormalities, age of patient during measles infection and the antibody index for measles were not associated with a progressive clinical deterioration (p>0.05). 66.7 percent of cases were vaccinated with measles vaccine, 43.5 percent of cases have had measles infection before age of 9 months.
Conclusion Viral, host and environmental factors are probably involved in the development and progression of SSPE. Successful measles vaccination programmes which accordance with the requirements of that country can protect the population against SSPE.