Neurologic morbidity after herpes simplex virus type 2 meningitis: a retrospective study of 40 patients

Scand J Infect Dis. 2002;34(4):278-83. doi: 10.1080/00365540110080485.


In order to study the long-term course after herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) meningitis and/or myeloradiculitis the records of 40 consecutive patients were studied. During the year following the acute phase, verified or suspected neurologic recurrences were noted in nearly half of the patients: 1 or more episodes of recurring meningitis were noted in 8 patients; new episodes of myelitis or radiculitis in 3; distinct attacks of headache in 4; and diffuse neurologic complaints impairing daily life in 3. Recurring mucocutaneous symptoms were observed in 16 patients. Eleven patients experienced concurrent or separate episodes of recurring mucocutaneous and neurologic symptoms, 7 had neurologic recurrences only and 5 had only mucocutaneous recurrences. As considerable morbidity may result, patients with HSV-2 meningitis and/or myeloradiculitis should be identified by means of thorough history-taking, careful examination and a specific viral diagnosis in order to enable adequate advice and counseling to be provided and to aid decision-making regarding antiviral therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / immunology
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / virology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / diagnosis
  • Herpes Simplex / epidemiology*
  • Herpes Simplex / pathology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Viral / diagnosis
  • Meningitis, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Meningitis, Viral / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies