Early diagnosis of herpes encephalitis saves lives: A case report

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Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the most important pathogen causing endemic encephalitis. HSV-1 is responsible for 90% of the cases which is the only treatable viral encephalitis. Clinically it is characterized by decreased level of consciousness, changes in personality, convulsions, and focal neurological deficits. Diagnosis of HSV encephalitis is made by detection of HSV DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The mortality rate in untreated HSV encephalitis is 50-70%. In this paper a patient diagnosed as Herpes simplex encephalitis according to positive PCR, clinic findings, radiological imaging and electroencephalogram (EEG). The patient was successfully treated for 21 days with acyclovir without any complication. This case report emphasizes the value of early diagnosis and treatment.


Acyclovir; encephalitis; herpes simplex virus; personality change

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Fig. T2 weighted MRI showing hyperintensity in right temporal lobe