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Encephalitis

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Nervous system

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Central nervous system disorders
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Encephalitis

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High Yield Notes
13 pages
Flashcards

Encephalitis

17 flashcards
Questions

USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

6 questions
Preview

A 25-year-old man is brought to the emergency department by his partner following an episode of generalized convulsions. His partner reports that for the past 3 days, the patient has had a high fever and severe headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting. She also mentions that he started complaining of smell and taste changes. A few days ago, they came back from a trip to California in which they hiked and swam in lakes. Temperature is 38.9°C (102°F), pulse is 80/min, and blood pressure is 135/85 mmHg. On physical examination, the patient is confused and unresponsive. Pupils are equal and react sluggishly to light. Brudzinski sign is positive. A lumbar puncture is performed, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis shows the following:  

 

 Cerebrospinal fluid 
 Opening pressure  300 mm H2
 Protein   130 mg/dL 
 Glucose  20 mg/dL 
 RBCs  Numerous 
 WBC count   1500/µL with polymorphonuclear predominance 
 Neutrophils   80%  

Gram stain of the CSF is negative. Head imaging results are nonspecific. Which of the following is the most likely causative organism?

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Summary

Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain. It can be caused by a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection, or it can be a result of autoimmune disorders. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. In some cases, encephalitis can lead to seizures, coma, and death.