Evaluation, Treatment, and Outcomes of Viral and Autoimmune Encephalitis in Children

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2023 Jun;70(3):429-444. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2023.01.007. Epub 2023 Mar 21.


Viral encephalitis and autoimmune encephalitis are currently the most common causes of encephalitis. Determining the causative agent is helpful in initiating medical treatment that may help reduce long-term sequelae. Cerebrospinal fluid, neuroimaging, serologic, and electroencephalogram in combination with clinical manifestations play a role in determining the cause of the encephalitis. Although motor dysfunction tends to improve, there is a significant risk of long-term neurologic and cognitive sequelae. These persistent deficits that occur in childhood indicate the importance for ongoing rehabilitative services to maximize functional skills, improve cognitive deficits, and assist with community integration.

Keywords: Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; Anti-NMDA receptor body encephalitis; Autoimmune encephalitis; Encephalitis; Outcomes; Rehabilitation; Treatment; Viral encephalitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System*
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Encephalitis* / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis* / drug therapy
  • Hashimoto Disease* / diagnosis
  • Hashimoto Disease* / therapy
  • Humans

Supplementary concepts

  • Hashimoto's encephalitis