The link between varicella and immune system: Which children will develop acute cerebellitis?

Elena Bozzola, Rita Carsetti, Eva Piano Mortari, Marco Masci, Giulia Spina, Alberto Villani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Varicella may complicate with cerebellitis in previously healthy children, requiring hospitalization. Aim of our study was to define whether children who experienced varicella cerebellitis have a normal immune system. Methods: Patients over 3 years of age admitted at Bambino Gesù Children from January 2006 till June 2016 for cerebellitis in varicella were asked to participate to the follow-up study. The immune status was evaluated clinically and by laboratory investigations. Results: Twenty-five patients were included in the study. At follow up, at least one immunological alteration was detected in 80% of patients. To avoid bias due to possible effects of the recent disease, we separately analyzed patients who had the follow-up control at least 1 year (Group 1) or between 1 month and 1 year (Group 2) after the hospitalization for acute varicella cerebellitis. The results were similar in both groups with immunological alterations detected in 84,6 and 75% of the patients, respectively. Conclusions: Our preliminary results indicate that sub-clinical immunological defects may correlate to cerebellitis in varicella.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 29 2020


  • Cerebellitis
  • Children
  • Immune system
  • Vaccine
  • Varicella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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