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Post-Infectious Encephalitis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment- Intravenous Steroids

Encephalitis- This is a medical disorder in which there is inflammation of brain as a result of some form of medical condition. When there is an inflammation of brain as an after effect of a bout of measles, mumps etc., then a condition arises called Post-Infectious Encephalitis. In this article, we will discuss in greater detail about Post-Infectious Encephalitis.

Post-Infectious Encephalitis

How Do We Define Post-Infectious Encephalitis?

The meaning of Encephalitis is inflammation of brain. This inflammation can occur as a primary illness or as a result of some another illness. If this Encephalitis occurs after a bout of infection then it is called as Post-Infectious Encephalitis. This is a pretty rare form of disease condition.

Causes of Post-Infectious Encephalitis

Primary Encephalitis is a medical condition in which the infectious agent like a bacteria or virus directly enters the central nervous system or the brain. This is generally caused from mosquitoes or ticks. Post-Infectious Encephalitis is also a disease condition of central nervous system but it generally occurs as a rare complication of some form of viral illness or as a result of some vaccines. Post-infectious Encephalitis generally develops after a bout of chickenpox, measles, or vaccination against measles.

Symptoms of Post-Infectious Encephalitis

Some of the Symptoms of Post-Infectious Encephalitis are As Follows:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Neck stiffness
  • Alteration in level of consciousness

How Soon After the Exposure Does the Symptoms of Post-Infectious Encephalitis Are Seen?

Post-Infectious Encephalitis generally occurs within a week to 10 days after symptoms of viral illness are seen like measles, chickenpox etc. Post-Infectious Encephalitis as a result of a vaccine may develop approximately three weeks after the vaccination.

Diagnosis of Post-Infectious Encephalitis

There is no definitive way to diagnose this condition. MRI of the brain helps a long way in confirming the diagnosis. The MRI will reveal multifocal asymmetrical lesions throughout the white matter on T2 and FLAIR sequences.

Treatment for Post-Infectious Encephalitis

The first line of treatment for Post-Infectious Encephalitis is high-dose intravenous steroids. Plasma exchanges and intravenous immunoglobulins have also been reported to be beneficial in Post-Infectious Encephalitis.

References:

  1. Schwarz, S., Mohr, A., Knauth, M., Wildemann, B., Storch-Hagenlocher, B., & Meinck, H. M. (2001). Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: a follow-up study of 40 adult patients. Neurology, 56(10), 1313-1318. https://doi.org/10.1212/wnl.56.10.1313
  2. Ihekwaba, U. K., Kaur, M., & Freedman, M. S. (2019). Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: Recognition in the adult and adolescent population. Neurology Clinical Practice, 9(5), 419-428. https://doi.org/10.1212/CPJ.0000000000000603
  3. Alexopoulos, H., & Dalakas, M. C. (2012). A critical update on the immunopathogenesis of stiff person syndrome. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, 42(12), 1342-1348. https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12002
  4. Daley, K., Morin, J., & Miller, N. R. (2018). Neurologic complications of vaccinations. Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, 38(4), 528-538. https://doi.org/10.1097/WNO.0000000000000774
  5. Schwarz, S., Mohr, A., Knauth, M., Wildemann, B., Storch-Hagenlocher, B., & Meinck, H. M. (2001). Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: a follow-up study of 40 adult patients. Neurology, 56(10), 1313-1318. https://doi.org/10.1212/wnl.56.10.1313

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 31, 2023

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