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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1726-4634

Abstract

ESPINOZA, Iván O et al. Enteroviral central nervous system infections in children treated at a hospital in Lima, Peru. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.4, pp. 602-609. ISSN 1726-4634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1726-46342011000400005.

Objectives. To determine the frequency and clinical features of central nervous system infections caused by enterovirus in children treated at the Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. Materials and methods. A prospective, descriptive study was performed from April 2008 to March 2010. Patients aged 1 month - 14 years with clinical diagnosis of encephalitis or aseptic meningitis were included. We investigated the presence of enterovirus, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results. 97 patients were included, out of which 69 % had acute encephalitis and 31 % acute meningitis. Enteroviruses were identified in 52,6% of all acute non-bacterial central nervous system infections; corresponding to 83,3 % of meningitis and 38,8 % of encephalitis. There were no cases of infection due to HSV-1, HSV-2 or VZV. Enterovirus infections reached 82,9 % in the warm months (November-January) and 28,6 % in the colder months (May-July). Conclusions. Enteroviruses are the principal etiologic agents in acute aseptic meningitis and encephalitis in pediatric patients in Lima, Peru. Enteroviruses have a seasonal epidemiological pattern with a clear increase in the number of cases during the summer months. It is useful to have this rapid diagnostic method available as an aid in the management of acute central nervous system infections.

Keywords : Enterovirus; Meningitis; Encephalitis; Polymerase chain reaction; Brain diseases; Epilepsy; Child.

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