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We describe a 36-year-old man with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) presenting with chorioretinitis two years before onset of other neurological features. He had neither myoclonus nor the typical EEG features of SSPE. The diagnosis was confirmed in the appropriate clinical setting by detecting elevated measles antibody titres in cerebrospinal fluid and serum. Clinicians should consider SSPE among the differential diagnoses in chorioretinitis. This is particularly so if there is macular or perimacular involvement with concurrent involvement of the optic nerve in young patients, even without other characteristic neurological symptoms.