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J Clin Virol. 2003 Dec;28(3):225-32.

Influenza virus and CNS manifestations.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Ostra SE-41685 Göteborg, Sweden.


Neurological involvement during influenza infection has been described during epidemics and is often consistent with serious sequelae or death. An increasing incidence of influenza-associated encephalitis/encephalopathy has been reported in Japan, mainly in children. A variety of other clinical CNS manifestations, such as Reye's syndrome, acute necrotising encephalopathy (ANE), and myelitis as well as autoimmune conditions, such as Guillain-Barre's syndrome, may occur during the course of influenza infection. Virological diagnosis is essential and based on virus isolation, antigen detection, RNA detection by PCR, and serological analyses. Neuroimaging with CT and MRI of the brain are of prognostic value. The pathogenic mechanisms behind the influenza CNS complications are unknown. The treatment is symptomatic, with control of vital functions in the intensive care unit, antiepileptic medication and treatment against brain oedema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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