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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 245-249
Case Report

Effects of Decompressive Surgery on Prognosis and Cognitive Deficits in Herpes Simplex Encephalitis

Ipek Midi,1 Nese Tuncer,1 Ahmet Midi,2 Aynur Mollahasanoglu,1 Deniz Konya,3 and Aydın Sav2

1Department of Neurology, Marmara University Hospital, Turkey
2Department of Pathology, Marmara University Hospital, Turkey
3Department of Neurosurgery, Marmara University Hospital, Turkey

Received 18 February 2008; Accepted 18 February 2008

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is a serious viral infection with a high rate of mortality. The most commonly seen complications are behavioral changes, seizures and memory deficits. We report the case of a 37-year-old man with HSE in the right temporal lobe and a severe midline shift who was treated with acyclovir. The patient underwent anterior temporal lobe resection. Although HSE can cause permanent cognitive deficits, in this case, early surgical intervention minimized any deficit, as determined by detailed neuropsychological examination. Surgical decompression is indicated as early as possible in severe cases. This case report emphasizes the effect of surgical decompression for HSE on cognitive function, which has rarely been mentioned before.