Herpes Simplex Type 2 Encephalitis after Craniotomy: Case Report and Literature Review

Assaf Berger, Tal Shahar, Nevo Margalit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) after neurosurgical procedures is extremely uncommon, and the few published case reports mainly described herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) as being culpable. We present a rare case of HSV-2 encephalitis after craniotomy and describe its pathophysiology and optimal management. Case Description A 70-year-old woman underwent an elective resection of a recurrent left sphenoid wing meningioma and clipping of a left middle cerebral artery aneurysm, the latter having been found incidentally. She returned to our department with clinical findings suggestive of meningitis 12 days after the operation. Her lack of response to empiric antibiotic treatment, taken together with the lymphocyte-predominant initial cerebrospinal fluid obtained by lumbar puncture and the electroencephalographic indications of encephalopathy, led to the suspicion of a diagnosis of HSE, which was later confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction test positive for HSV-2. The patient was then successfully treated with intravenous acyclovir for 2 weeks followed by another week of oral acyclovir treatment before being discharged. Conclusions The present case stresses the importance of recognizing the relatively rare entity of HSE after craniotomy. Timely correct diagnosis will expedite the initiation of appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691.e9-691.e12
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Craniotomy
  • Herpes simplex encephalitis
  • Herpes simplex virus type 2
  • Meningioma
  • Middle cerebral artery aneurysm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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