The clinical relevance of CSF viral cultures was evaluated by reviewing the records of 390 patients whose CSF was cultured for virus during a two-year period. The diagnoses at hospital discharge were aseptic meningitis, meningoencephalitis, or both in 111 patients, and enterovirus was isolated from the CSF or other test specimens in 46 patients (41%). The diagnosis or management of nearly one half of the patients from whom enterovirus was isolated was directly influenced by this information. Hospitalization and the unnecessary use of antibiotics were shortened by at least 70 days. Enterovirus was the only virus isolated from the CSF during the study period. The CSF was more likely to be positive for an enterovirus if it was drawn from a young patient with aseptic meningitis during the summer or fall months. The clinical data obtained from this study are discussed and compared with national statistics.
Chonmaitree T, Menegus MA, Powell KR. The Clinical Relevance of 'CSF Viral Culture': A Two-Year Experience With Aseptic Meningitis in Rochester, NY. JAMA. 1982;247(13):1843–1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320380035025
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