Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis

Other Names for this Disease
  • AHL
  • AHLE
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis (AHL) is a very rare form of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis that usually results in death. It is characterized by a brief but intense attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord that damages the myelin -- the protective covering of the nerve fibers. It may also cause bleeding in the brain, leading to damage of the white matter. Symptoms usually come on quickly, beginning with symptoms such as fever, neck stiffness, fatigue, headache, nausea vomiting, seizures, and coma. AHL has a very poor prognosis, with rapid deterioration and death usually occurring within days to one week after onset of symptoms because of severe inflammation in the brain. Although the exact cause is unclear, AHL usually follows a viral infection, or less often, vaccination for measles, mumps, or rubella. Some researchers think that an infection or vaccination can initiate an autoimmune process in the body thus leading to AHL.[1][2]
Last updated: 8/19/2011


  1. Lann MA, Lovell MA, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK. Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis: a critical entity for forensic pathologists to recognize. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2010; 31(1):7-11. Accessed 8/19/2011.
  2. Ryan LJ, Bowman R, Zantek ND, Sherr G, Maxwell R, Clark HB, Mair DC. Transfusion. 2007; 47(6):981-6. Accessed 8/19/2011.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Please contact us with your questions about Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis. We will answer your question and update these pages with new resources and information.
On this page

In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Acute hemorrhagic leukoencephalitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.