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June 1988

Coma as a Presenting Sign of Epstein-Barr Encephalitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Intensive Care (Drs Demey, Leus, Moeremans, and Bossaert), and Neurology (Dr Martin), University of Antwerp UIA, University Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(6):1459-1461. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380060223041

• Among the many different manifestations of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, neurologic disturbances are less frequently observed, and they are diverse in nature. A young woman was admitted with acute hyperthermia, mydriasis, nystagmus, respiratory insufficiency, muscular hypertonia, evolving to decerebrate posturing, and bilateral facial epileptic contractions. The appearance of atypical blood lymphocytes, hepatitis, migrating skin rash, positive heterophile antibody tests, and specific serologic tests for EBV led to a diagnosis of EBV encephalitis. Under treatment with intravenously administered acyclovir, the patient recuperated almost completely. This case illustrates a less frequent manifestation of EBV infection.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1459-1461)

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