Is aseptic meningitis reclassified once a cause is identified?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

When the cause of aseptic meningitis is discovered, the disease can be reclassified according to its etiology. If appropriate diagnostic methods are performed, a specific viral etiology is identified in 55-70% of cases of aseptic meningitis. However, the condition can also be caused by bacterial, fungal, mycobacterial, and parasitic agents.

If, after an extensive workup, aseptic meningitis is found to have a viral etiology, it can be reclassified as a form of acute viral meningitis (eg, enteroviral meningitis or herpes simplex virus [HSV] meningitis).


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