Enterovirus 71, one of the enteroviruses that are responsible for both hand-foot-and-mouth disease and herpangina, can cause neural injury. During periods of endemic spread of hand-foot-andmouth disease caused by enterovirus 71, CNS infections are also frequently diagnosed and may lead to increased complications from neural injury, as well as death. We present the results of our epidemiologic research on the clinical manifestations of children with CNS infections caused by enterovirus 71.
The study group consisted of 42 patients admitted for CNS infection by enterovirus 71 between April 2009 and October 2009 at the Department of Pediatrics of 5 major hospitals affiliated with the Catholic University of Korea. We retrospectively reviewed initial symptoms and laboratory findings on admission, the specimen from which enterovirus 71 was isolated, fever duration, admission period, treatment and progress, and complications. We compared aseptic meningitis patients with encephalitis patients.
Of the 42 patients (23 men, 19 women), hand-foot-and-mouth disease was most prevalent (n=39), followed by herpangina (n=3), upon initial clinical diagnosis. Among the 42 patients, 15 (35.7%) were classified as severe, while 27 (64.3%) were classified as mild. Factors such as age, fever duration, presence of seizure, and use of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) were statistically different between the 2 groups.
Our results indicate that patients with severe infection caused by enterovirus 71 tended to be less than 3 years old, presented with at least 3 days of fever as well as seizure activity, and received IVIG treatment.