Acute viral encephalitis

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Acute viral encephalitis; Acute viral myelitis

This section has been translated automatically.

Overall, severe viral encephalitis is rare. In addition to the usually severe herpes simplex encephalitis (HSV) and HIV encephalopathy, other types of encephalitis are caused by:

  • Herpes viruses (Varicella zoster virus, cytomegalovirus)
  • Arboviruses (TBE)
  • Myxoviruses (flu, measles, mumps)
  • LCM viruses and enteroviruses (ECHO and Coxsackie viruses)

Clinical features
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In practice, the etiology will remain unclear in many cases. VZV encephalitis therapy corresponds to HSV encephalitis therapy. The therapy of HIV encephalopathy (HIV mingitis, myelopathy, AIDS dementia complex) follows the respective stage of HIV infection.

In other cases there is no specific therapy. The success of interferon therapy is questionable. In case of doubt, acyclovir is always used.

In view of the unpredictable spontaneous prognosis, the use of all available intensive care measures is indicated.


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 29.10.2020