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Why are young infants tested for herpes simplex virus?
Pediatr Emerg Care. 2008 Oct; 24(10):673-8.PE

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test to detect herpes simplex virus (HSV) genome in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has become the test of choice for diagnosing this infection. The utility of this test in young infants undergoing sepsis evaluations is unknown.

OBJECTIVES

We sought to identify the factors that prompted physicians to include HSV PCR in their evaluation of young infants undergoing lumbar puncture. In addition, the impact of ordering this test on patient management was assessed.

METHODS

This case-control study included infants 0 to 60 days who were evaluated by lumbar puncture at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children over a 5-year period. Case patients had CSF HSV PCR ordered as part of their evaluation and control patients did not.

RESULTS

Eighty-eight case patients and 83 control patients were identified. The median patient age was 12 days and most patients (55%) were male. Both groups were similar in demographics. Herpes simplex virus infection was diagnosed by PCR in 3.4% of cases. The occurrence of a seizure (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 8.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-41.0), the performance of CSF enteroviral PCR testing (adjusted OR, 4.7; 95% CI, 1.4-15.8), and the decision to obtain hepatic transaminases (adjusted OR, 5.6; 95% CI, 2.7-11.8) were associated with the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. Use of health care resources associated with PCR testing was considerable.

DISCUSSION

The occurrence of a seizure, the performance of CSF enteroviral PCR testing, and the decision to obtain hepatic transaminases were independently associated with the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. Features traditionally associated with neonatal HSV infection, such as elevated numbers of CSF white blood cells or red blood cells, did not appear to influence the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. The yield of testing in this population was low. Clinicians should weigh the benefits of early diagnosis in a few patients against the consequences of excessive testing in this population.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19242136

Citation

Davis, Kara L., et al. "Why Are Young Infants Tested for Herpes Simplex Virus?" Pediatric Emergency Care, vol. 24, no. 10, 2008, pp. 673-8.
Davis KL, Shah SS, Frank G, et al. Why are young infants tested for herpes simplex virus? Pediatr Emerg Care. 2008;24(10):673-8.
Davis, K. L., Shah, S. S., Frank, G., & Eppes, S. C. (2008). Why are young infants tested for herpes simplex virus? Pediatric Emergency Care, 24(10), 673-8. https://doi.org/10.1097/PEC.0b013e318188773a
Davis KL, et al. Why Are Young Infants Tested for Herpes Simplex Virus. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2008;24(10):673-8. PubMed PMID: 19242136.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Why are young infants tested for herpes simplex virus? AU - Davis,Kara L, AU - Shah,Samir S, AU - Frank,Gary, AU - Eppes,Stephen C, PY - 2009/2/27/entrez PY - 2009/2/27/pubmed PY - 2009/4/15/medline SP - 673 EP - 8 JF - Pediatric emergency care JO - Pediatr Emerg Care VL - 24 IS - 10 N2 - BACKGROUND: The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based test to detect herpes simplex virus (HSV) genome in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has become the test of choice for diagnosing this infection. The utility of this test in young infants undergoing sepsis evaluations is unknown. OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify the factors that prompted physicians to include HSV PCR in their evaluation of young infants undergoing lumbar puncture. In addition, the impact of ordering this test on patient management was assessed. METHODS: This case-control study included infants 0 to 60 days who were evaluated by lumbar puncture at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children over a 5-year period. Case patients had CSF HSV PCR ordered as part of their evaluation and control patients did not. RESULTS: Eighty-eight case patients and 83 control patients were identified. The median patient age was 12 days and most patients (55%) were male. Both groups were similar in demographics. Herpes simplex virus infection was diagnosed by PCR in 3.4% of cases. The occurrence of a seizure (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 8.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-41.0), the performance of CSF enteroviral PCR testing (adjusted OR, 4.7; 95% CI, 1.4-15.8), and the decision to obtain hepatic transaminases (adjusted OR, 5.6; 95% CI, 2.7-11.8) were associated with the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. Use of health care resources associated with PCR testing was considerable. DISCUSSION: The occurrence of a seizure, the performance of CSF enteroviral PCR testing, and the decision to obtain hepatic transaminases were independently associated with the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. Features traditionally associated with neonatal HSV infection, such as elevated numbers of CSF white blood cells or red blood cells, did not appear to influence the decision to perform CSF HSV PCR testing. The yield of testing in this population was low. Clinicians should weigh the benefits of early diagnosis in a few patients against the consequences of excessive testing in this population. SN - 1535-1815 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19242136/Why_are_young_infants_tested_for_herpes_simplex_virus DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -