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J Neurosurg. 2011 Sep;115(3):636-40. doi: 10.3171/2011.4.JNS102057. Epub 2011 May 27.

Neurosurgical intervention in the diagnosis and treatment of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi 39216, USA.


The authors describe the unique presentation of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis in a kidney donor and two recipients. All three patients suffered acute clinical deterioration, with radiological or clinical evidence of intracranial hypertension. Brain autopsy in the donor and an urgent brain biopsy in a recipient established the diagnosis. First-tier therapy, with mannitol and CSF drainage, successfully treated the intracranial hypertension in both recipients, while administration of a combination of antiamebic drugs was associated with survival in the second recipient. For both recipients, neurosurgical management played a critical role in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of Balamuthia mandrillaris encephalitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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