How long is the clinical course of viral meningitis?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Cordia Wan, MD; Chief Editor: Niranjan N Singh, MBBS, MD, DM, FAHS, FAANEM  more...
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Answer

In uncomplicated viral meningitis, the clinical course is usually self-limited, with complete recovery in 7-10 days. However, when the viral pathogen causes a more involved meningoencephalitis or meningomyelitis, the course can be significantly more protracted. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a patient with meningoencephalitis is seen below.

T1-weighted MRI of brain demonstrates diffuse enha T1-weighted MRI of brain demonstrates diffuse enhancement of the meninges in viral meningoencephalitis.

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