Enteroviral meningitis in infants and children commonly leads to hospital admission. Diagnosing viral meningitis can be difficult clinically. We examined the usefulness of enteroviral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples on clinical practice by comparing positive enteroviral CSF PCR cases (n = 39/136) to negative controls using both clinical outcomes and laboratory parameters. A positive result correlated with a reduced admission to high dependency unit, reduced the duration of antibiotics and a shorter length of stay (P < .05). Adjusted CSF white cell count > 5/μL correlated with positive PCR (P < .05) but would have missed 32% of cases of enteroviral meningitis. Following these findings, an algorithm for the management of suspected viral meningitis has been introduced.
Keywords: enterovirus < virus classification; generalized infection < pathogenesis; nervous system < pathogenesis.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.