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How is acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) diagnosed?

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No one test proves you have acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), but doctors most often use MRI (a.k.a. magnetic resonance imaing, which takes pictures of the brain with a large magnet and radio waves) and a lumbar puncture (fluid drawn from around the spinal cord and then tested) to help diagnose it.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Information Page."

Medscape: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

The Transverse Myelitis Association: "Disease Information."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM): Patient and Family Education."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Testing and Diagnosis," "Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis And Related Disorders Program at Boston Children's Hospital," "Treatments for Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in Children," "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) symptoms & causes in children."

UpToDate: "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in children: Treatment and prognosis."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Information Page."

Medscape: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

The Transverse Myelitis Association: "Disease Information."

National Multiple Sclerosis Society: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM): Patient and Family Education."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis."

Cleveland Clinic: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)."

Boston Children's Hospital: "Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Testing and Diagnosis," "Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis And Related Disorders Program at Boston Children's Hospital," "Treatments for Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) in Children," "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) symptoms & causes in children."

UpToDate: "Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in children: Treatment and prognosis."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What symptoms of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) are shared with other diseases?

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