What is the role of brain biopsy in the diagnosis of encephalitis?

Updated: Aug 07, 2018
  • Author: David S Howes, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Although most histologic features are nonspecific, brain biopsy is the criterion standard because of its 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

The presence of Negri bodies in the hippocampus and cerebellum are pathognomonic of rabies, as are HSV Cowdry type A inclusions with hemorrhagic necrosis in the temporal and orbitofrontal lobes.


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