Results of a multinational study suggest the need for rapid diagnosis and early antiviral treatment at the onset of herpetic meningoencephalitis

Hakan Erdem, Yasemin Cag, Derya Ozturk-Engin, Sylviane Defres, Selcuk Kaya, Lykke Larsen, Mario Poljak, Bruno Barsic, Xavier Argemi, Signe Maj Sørensen, Anne Lisbeth Bohr, Pierre Tattevin, Jesper Damsgaard Gunst, Lenka Baštáková, Matjaž Jereb, Isik Somuncu Johansen, Oguz Karabay, Abdullah Umut Pekok, Oguz Resat Sipahi, Mahtab ChehriGuillaume Beraud, Ghaydaa Shehata, Rosa Fontana Del Vecchio, Mauro Maresca, Hasan Karsen, Gonul Sengoz, Mustafa Sunbul, Gulden Yilmaz, Hava Yilmaz, Ahmad Sharif-Yakan, Souha Shararah Kanj, Emine Parlak, Filiz Pehlivanoglu, Fatime Korkmaz, Suheyla Komur, Sukran Kose, Mehmet Ulug, Sibel Bolukcu, Seher Ayten Coskuner, Nevin Ince, Yasemin Akkoyunlu, Gulistan Halac, Elif Sahin-Horasan, Hulya Tireli, Gamze Kilicoglu, Akram Al-Mahdawi, Salih Atakan Nemli, Asuman Inan, Seniha Senbayrak, Jean Paul Stahl, Haluk Vahaboglu

55 Citations (Scopus)


Data in the literature regarding the factors that predict unfavorable outcomes in adult herpetic meningoencephalitis (HME) cases are scarce. We conducted a multicenter study in order to provide insights into the predictors of HME outcomes, with special emphasis on the use and timing of antiviral treatment. Samples from 501 patients with molecular confirmation from cerebrospinal fluid were included from 35 referral centers in 10 countries. Four hundred thirty-eight patients were found to be eligible for the analysis. Overall, 232 (52.9%) patients experienced unfavorable outcomes, 44 died, and 188 survived, with sequelae. Age (odds ratio [OR], 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.05), Glasgow Coma Scale score (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.77 to 0.93), and symptomatic periods of 2 to 7 days (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.79) and >7 days (OR, 3.75; 95% CI, 1.72 to 8.15) until the commencement of treatment predicted unfavorable outcomes. The outcome in HME patients is related to a combination of therapeutic and host factors. This study suggests that rapid diagnosis and early administration of antiviral treatment in HME patients are keys to a favorable outcome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)3084-9
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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