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July 1965

Necrotizing Encephalitis and Chorioretinitis in a Young Infant: Report of a Case With Rising Herpes Simplex Antibody Titers

Author Affiliations

From the departments of neurology and ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, the Neurology and Children's Services, and the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Memorial Laboratories, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Howe Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Research Department, Walter E. Fernald State School.

Arch Neurol. 1965;13(1):15-24. doi:10.1001/archneur.1965.00470010019003

THE ASSOCIATION of encephalitis and chorioretinitis in a young infant brings to mind a number of etiological considerations, prominent among them being syphilis, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalic inclusion disease.1,2 Yet, experience teaches that it is often impossible to incriminate these or any other agent, so that the etiology remains obscure.3 In the case to be presented, the cerebrum and the retinae were devastated within a few weeks by an inflammatory disease process. Although no infective agent was recovered from various body fluids during life, herpes simplex complement fixing antibodies in the infant's blood rose significantly. It is because of this finding and that of the closely documented evolution of a necrotizing encephalitis and chorioretinitis in a young infant that this case is reported.

Report of Case  A 25-day-old white girl was admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital because of focal convulsions. She remained in the hospital until four weeks

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