Encephalitis Questions & Answers

Updated: Aug 07, 2018
  • Author: David S Howes, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is encephalitis?

How do the signs and symptoms of encephalitis vary by specific type?

What is the classic presentation of encephalitis?

Which physical findings suggest encephalitis?

Which findings suggest herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in neonates with encephalitis?

What are complications of encephalitis?

Which tests are performed in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

Which studies may be performed to identify the infectious agent causing encephalitis?

Which imaging studies may be helpful in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

What are the parameters of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis for encephalitis?

What is included in prehospital care for encephalitis?

What is included in the initial emergency department (ED) care for encephalitis?

What is encephalitis?

Which conditions are associated with encephalitis?

What is West Nile encephalitis?

What is the pathophysiology of encephalitis?

What causes encephalitis?

What is the prevalence of encephalitis in the US?

What is the most common type of viral encephalitis outside the US?

How does the incidence of encephalitis vary by age?

What is the prognosis of encephalitis?

Where are patient education resources for encephalitis found?

Presentation

What is the clinical presentation of encephalitis?

What are the classic signs and symptoms of encephalitis?

What are the symptoms of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE)?

What are the symptoms of toxoplasma encephalopathy?

Which physical findings suggest encephalitis?

What are physical findings of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in neonates?

What are complications of encephalitis?

DDX

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnoses for encephalitis?

What are the differential diagnoses for Encephalitis?

Workup

Why is it important to distinguish between types of encephalitis?

What is the role of blood and urine tests in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

Which studies are performed to identify the infectious agent causing encephalitis?

What is the role of imaging in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

What is the role of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

What is the role of Gram staining and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

What is the role of brain biopsy in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

Treatment

What is included in prehospital care of patients with encephalitis?

What is the initial emergency department (ED) care for encephalitis?

How are hydrocephalus and increased intracranial pressure treated in patients with encephalitis?

Which systemic complications of encephalitis should be treated in the emergency department (ED)?

What are empiric treatments for HSV meningoencephalitis and VZV encephalitis?

Medications

What are the goals of drug treatment for encephalitis?

Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Encephalitis?

Which medications in the drug class Diuretics are used in the treatment of Encephalitis?

Which medications in the drug class Corticosteroids are used in the treatment of Encephalitis?

Which medications in the drug class Antivirals are used in the treatment of Encephalitis?