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J Med Virol. 2009 Jan;81(1):42-8. doi: 10.1002/jmv.21330.

Impact of rapid enterovirus molecular diagnosis on the management of infants, children, and adults with aseptic meningitis.

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  • 1CHU Clermont-Ferrand, Centre de Biologie, Laboratoire de Virologie, Hopital G Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France. carchimbaud@chu-clermontferrand.fr

Abstract

Enteroviruses (EV) are the main etiological agents of aseptic meningitis. Diagnosis is made by detecting the genome using RT-PCR. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of a positive diagnosis on the management of infants, children, and adults. During 2005, 442 patients were admitted to hospital with suspected meningitis. Clinical and laboratory data and initial treatment were recorded for all patients with enteroviral meningitis. The turnaround time of tests and the length of hospital stay were analyzed. The results showed that EV-PCR detected EV in 69 patients (16%), 23% (16/69) were adults. About 18% of CSF samples had no pleocytosis. After positive PCR results, 63% of children were discharged immediately (mean 2 hr 30 min) and 95% within 24 hr. Infants and adults were discharged later (after 1.8 and 2 days, respectively). The use of antibiotics was significantly lower in children than in infants and adults. The PCR results allowed discontinuation of antibiotics in 50-60% of all patients treated. Patients received acyclovir in 16% of cases (7% children vs. 50% adults) and 23% (11% vs. 69%) underwent a CT scan. Clinical data were compared between patients whose positive EV-PCR results were available within 24 hr (n = 32) and those whose results were available > 24 hr after collection of CSF (n = 14). Duration of antibiotic treatment (difference: 2.3 days; P = 0.05) was reduced between the two groups. No statistical difference in the length of stay was observed. The EV-PCR assay should be performed daily in hospital laboratory practice and considered as part of the initial management of meningitis.

PMID:
19031461
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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