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Scand J Infect Dis. 1997;29(3):229-31.

Advantage of polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of herpes simplex encephalitis: presentation of 5 atypical cases.

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Department of Pathology, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


Four case of herpes encephalitis (HSVE) are described. The diagnosis was established by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These reports illustrate different situations in the clinical management of this disease. PCR was considered useful in confirming the HSVE diagnosis in 3 atypical cases, and in the differentiation between virologic failure and postinfectious encephalitis in a patient with recurrence of symptoms. A case with typical HSVE clinical findings is also reported where PCR was negative and a temporal lobe lymphoma was diagnosed at autopsy. This last case is representative of the utility of PCR in the management of other diseases mimicking HSVE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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