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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2007 Oct 27;151(43):2400-4.

[Meningoradiculitis caused by herpes simplex virus type 2].

[Article in Dutch]

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Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis Assen, Postbus 30.001, 9400 RA Assen.


A 24-year-old immune-competent woman was admitted to hospital with a three-day history of fever and headache. On examination bilateral facial nerve palsy, lumbosacral radicular pain, reduced sacral sensibility and urinary retention were found. Open perianal lesions were suspect for genital herpes. The symptoms were compatible with a meningoradiculitis including a sacral polyradiculitis. On testing, cerebrospinal fluid was found to be abnormal with a lymphocytic cell reaction. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of cerebrospinal fluid and of the perianal lesions was positive for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). An MRI scan showed colouration of part of the cauda equina. The patient was treated by intravenous injections of acyclovir 10 mg/kg t.i.d. for 21 days, after which she completely recovered. HSV-2 infection of the nervous system can cause lymphocytic, and sometimes recurrent meningitis as well as sacral polyradiculitis. It may also occur without any symptomatic genital herpes infection. A positive result from a PCR test of the cerebrospinal fluid confirms this diagnosis. Treatment with acyclovir should be started as soon as possible.

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