J Korean Child Neurol Soc.  2004 May;12(1):66-77.

Prognostic Factors and Treatment Strategies for Acute Viral Encephalitis

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Chonbuk National University College of Medicine, Jeonju, Korea. sunjun@chonbuk.ac.kr


PURPOSE: Encephalitis is a cranial nervous system infection that is caused by various etiologies. Most of the patients with encephalitis undergo severe or fatal clinical course with sequelae. This study was conducted to estimate the clinical outcomes and to evaluate factors which can be used to predict clinical outcomes among pediatric patients with encephalitis
We retrospectively reviewed 46 patients with encephalitis who were admitted to the Department of Pediatrics of Chonbuk National University Hospital, from July 1995 to July 2003. Encephalitis was diagnosed based on the presence of neurologic abnormalities, CSF, Brain CT or MRI findings. Information on sequelae was obtained in the outpatient clinic.
In this study, five patients(11.6%) were expired, 17 patients(39.5%) developed neurologic sequelaes and 21 patients(46.5%) were recovered without sequelae. Infants had poorer outcomes compared to older age groups. Twenty nine cases who had seizures showed high morbidity rate(48.3%) compared to the seizure-free group(17.6%). Among six patients with status epilepticus, four(66.7%) developed neurologic sequelae and two(33.3%) expired. The group with normal brain MRI findings had better outcomes (70%) than the group with abnormal MRI findings(55.5%). Gray matter involved patients on MRI had poorer recovery rate(33.3%) than white matter involved patients(69.2%). The group treated with intravenous immunoglobulin(IVIG) had better outcomes(64.7%) than the other group(37.9%).
The presence of seizure, younger patients, and presence of abnormal findings of brain MRI, especially gray matter lesions were associated with poor clinical outcomes in children with encephalitis.


Encephalitis; Neurologic outcome; Prognostic factor
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