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Medicina (B Aires). 2009;69(1 Pt 1):121-6.

[Acute encephalitis. Neuropsychiatric manifestations as expression of influenza virus infection].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Departamento de Neuropediatría, Hospital del Niño, Panamá


The aim is to review the encephalitis in infants and adolescents as well as its etiology, clinical manifestation, epidemiology, physiopathology, diagnostic methods and treatment, and the neuropsyquiatric signs appearing an influenza epidemy. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the central nervous system (CNS) which involves the brain. The clinical manifestations usually are: headache, fever and confusional stage. It could also be manifested as seizures, personality changes, or psiqyiatric symptoms. The clinical manifestations are related to the virus and the cell type affected in the brain. A meningitis or encephalopathy need to be ruled out. It could be present as an epidemic or isolated form, beeing this the most frequent form. It could be produced by a great variety of infections agents including virus, bacterias, fungal and parasitic. Viral causes are herpesvirus, arbovirus, rabies and enterovirus. Bacterias such as Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia and Mycoplasma neumoniae. Some fungal causes are: Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum. More than 100 agents are related to encephalitis. The diagnosis of encephalitis is a challenge for the clinician and its infectious etiology is clear in only 40 to 70% of all cases. The diagnosis of encephalitis can be established with absolute certainty only by the microscopic examination of brain tissue. Epidemiology is related to age of the patients, geographic area, season, weather or the host immune system. Early intervention can reduce the mortality rate and sequels. We describe four patients with encephalitis and neuropsychiatric symptoms during an influenza epidemic.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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