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Acute Encephalitis and Abnormal MRI 

Acute Encephalitis and Abnormal MRI
Chapter:
Acute Encephalitis and Abnormal MRI
Source:
Neurocritical Care (2 ed.)
Author(s):

Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

, Sara E. Hocker

, and Jennifer E. Fugate

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190602659.003.0005

The diagnosis of encephalitis is easy, finding the cause is not. Clinicians should always consider the diagnosis of encephalitis in a febrile and confused patient, regardless of the presence of meningeal signs or focal deficits. In this chapter, the differential diagnosis of the main forms of acute encephalitis is discussed. Polymerase chain reaction for herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) should be performed in all cerebrospinal fluid samples of patients with presumed encephalitis. MRI with gadolinium is the most informative neuroimaging modality for patients with suspected encephalitis. Medical therapy and indications for brain biopsy are also mentioned in the chapter.

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