What is the morbidity of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Wayne E Anderson, DO, FAHS, FAAN; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Sequelae among survivors are significant and depend on the patient’s age and neurologic status at the time of diagnosis. Patients who are comatose at diagnosis have a poor prognosis regardless of their age. In noncomatose patients, the prognosis is age related, with better outcomes occurring in patients younger than 30 years.

Significant morbidity exists among those treated. Neurologic outcomes in survivors treated with acyclovir are as follows:

  • No deficits or mild deficits - 38%

  • Moderate deficits - 9%

  • Severe deficits - 53%

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