UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Acute Cerebellar Ataxia of Childhood

Posted: 4/23/2010 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 2/23/2024)
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  • also known as acute cerebellitis of childhood
  • most commonly affects children 2-6 years old
  • about 50%  have a history of recent URI or viral GI illness
  • abrupt onset of ataxia which may be mild to severe, and findings usually include hypotonia, tremor, horizontal nystagmus, and dysarthria
  • child often is irritable with nausa/vomiting
  • sensory exam and DTR's are normal
  • CT and MRI are normal
  • CSF usually demonstrates an increase in WBC, with a predemonance of lymphocytes
  • 90% recover without any specific therapy in 6-8 weeks (steroids are not indicated).