What are the possible complications and long-term sequelae 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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Some controversy exists as to the long-term effects of viral meningitis on children, with some studies attributing learning disabilities, neuromuscular impairments (ie, mild paresis or loss of coordination), and deafness to viral meningitis. Investigators believe that most of these cases must involve the CNS parenchyma, causing encephalitis or encephalomyelitis.

Communicating hydrocephalus is a rare complication of viral meningitis and is due to obstruction of arachnoid granulations by inflammatory debris. The usual time of onset is within weeks of the original symptoms. Less common is acute hydrocephalus, with onset within hours to days of the original symptoms.

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