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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2019 October;178(10):849-53

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.18.03957-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A rare case of pediatric Epstein-Barr Virus-associated encephalitis

Valeria PAVONE 1 , Piera DONES 2, Salvatore GIORDANO 2, Elisa PARISI 1, Edvige CORRENTI 3, Flavia DRAGO 3, Luca M. MESSINA 3, Giorgia PLICATO 3, Lucia ROCCHITELLI 3, Francesca VANADIA 3

1 Department of Science for Health Promotion and Mother and Child Care, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 2 Unit of Pediatric Infectious and Tropical Diseases, G. Di Cristina Children’s Hospital, Palermo, Italy; 3 Department of Pediatric Neuropsychiatry, G. Di Cristina Children’s Hospital, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy



Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis (EBV) is a frequent clinical condition in children and often asymptomatic. The virus can rarely result in neurological complications (encephalitis, meningitis, cerebellitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, etc.). EBV encephalitis is rare but can detect serious neurological sequelae. The diagnosis of EBV infection should therefore be considered in all acute encephalopathy frameworks. We report on a case of an infant with acute encephalitis during EBV primary infection. The case shows a favorable outcome after treatment with acyclovir for 14 days, without neurological sequelae. EBV infection is a rare cause of pediatric encephalitis easily diagnosed thanks to the use of serological, neurophysiopathological and neuroimaging tests, to be taken into account in the programming of the diagnostic procedure in all cases of acute encephalopathy. The early diagnosis and the multidisciplinary approach are the key elements to reduce the risks of the outcomes of a frequent infectious disease that can rarely give neurological complications.


KEY WORDS: Epstein-Barr virus infections; Infectious mononucleosis; Encephalitis

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