Detection of enteroviruses in the cerebrospinal fluid by polymerase chain reaction: prospective study of impact on the management of hospitalized children

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2000 Apr;39(4):203-8. doi: 10.1177/000992280003900402.


A polymerase chain reaction kit (AMPLICOR EV) for the detection of enteroviruses (EV-PCR) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was evaluated in clinical conditions in a prospective blinded-intention study. Forty-three children (mean age 2.7 years) hospitalized for suspected meningitis or fever of unclear etiology were enrolled. EV-PCR was performed on a daily basis. Results were available in less than 2 days in 72% of cases. EV-PCR was positive in nine (21%) children, including three infants without CSF pleocytosis. Knowing their EV-PCR result would have allowed a saving of 18 hospital days and 12 days of antibiotic therapy. The EV-PCR in the CSF can thus be practically useful for children hospitalized for meningitis or fever if available on-site on a daily basis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Enterovirus Infections / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Meningitis, Viral / microbiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies