MELAS syndrome masquerading as herpes simplex encephalitis

Neurology. 1993 Dec;43(12):2471-3. doi: 10.1212/wnl.43.12.2471.


Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is commonly treated empirically with acyclovir without confirmatory brain biopsy. Three consecutive adults with molecularly verified mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) syndrome presented with, and were treated for, apparent HSE. MELAS syndrome in adults may present as an atypical, recurrent form of HSE and should be added to the list of neurologic diseases that can mimic HSE.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Encephalitis / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex*
  • Humans
  • MELAS Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Molecular Probes