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Neurology. 2000 Feb 8;54(3):746-9.

Positive CSF HSV PCR in patients with GBM: a note of caution.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.


Because two patients with temporal lobe glioblastomas had herpes simplex (HSV) DNA detected in CSF using PCR at the time of their presentation, we reviewed our laboratory's experience and performed PCR on a bank of 159 frozen CSF samples from patients with glioblastoma multiforme and other neurologic disorders. Based on the inability to detect HSV in any other tumor sample, we conclude that the positive HSV PCR in our two index patients most likely represented false-positive results. A diagnosis of HSE should not be made by PCR alone when the clinical presentation is atypical.

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