Objective: The significance of detecting herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of infants with HSV encephalitis after receipt of prolonged therapy with high-dose (60 mg kg-1 day-1) acyclovir is unknown. We report the clinical and laboratory characteristics, neuroimaging studies and outcomes of four neonates with HSV encephalitis who had persistence of CSF HSV DNA, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) after 15 to 21 days of high-dose acyclovir therapy. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Results: All four infants had abnormal neuroimaging studies and subsequently experienced severe developmental delay or death. Conclusion: A persistently positive CSF HSV PCR in neonates may be another risk factor for worse neurodevelopmental outcome. Prospective studies are needed to document how often HSV DNA persists in CSF, elucidate whether it represents an initially high CSF viral load, ongoing viral replication or viral resistance, and determine its possible association with neurodevelopmental impairment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology