What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections?

Updated: Feb 27, 2019
  • Author: J Michael Klatte, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

In patients with herpes simplex virus encephalitis, CT scans and MRI typically reveal focal abnormalities, frequently in the temporal lobe, that may be associated with edema and hemorrhagic necrosis (see the image below).

MRI shows abnormal signal intensity in the left te MRI shows abnormal signal intensity in the left temporal lobe of an 18-year-old man with herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis.

Imaging can also be useful in providing information that suggests etiologies other than herpes simplex virus.


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