Successful treatment of human herpesvirus-6 encephalitis after bone marrow transplantation

Bone Marrow Transplant. 1999 Dec;24(11):1245-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1702065.


We report two cases of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6)-associated encephalitis in patients after BMT. Both patients reported distinct neurological symptoms with disorientation, sleepiness and loss of short-term memory. Diagnosis was based on PCR analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) positive for HHV-6 variant B-DNA. After institution of therapy with foscarnet in both cases, neurological symptoms improved and in one patient clearance of HHV-6-DNA from CSF was demonstrated. These cases show that HHV-6 infection has to be considered in patients with neurological symptoms following BMT and effective treatment of HHV-6 encephalitis is possible if instituted early.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • DNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Encephalitis, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Encephalitis, Viral / etiology
  • Encephalitis, Viral / therapy
  • Female
  • Foscarnet / administration & dosage
  • Herpesviridae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / etiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / therapy
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Viral
  • Foscarnet