Benign recurrent lymphocytic meningitis (Mollaret's meningitis) in Denmark: a nationwide cohort study

Danish Study Group of Infections of the Brain

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Data on clinical features and outcomes of benign recurrent lymphocytic meningitis (BRLM) are limited.

METHODS: This was a nationwide population-based cohort study of all adults hospitalized for BRLM associated with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) at the departments of infectious diseases in Denmark from 2015 to 2020. Patients with single-episode HSV-2 meningitis were included for comparison.

RESULTS: Forty-seven patients with BRLM (mean annual incidence 1.2/1,000,000 adults) and 118 with single-episode HSV-2 meningitis were included. The progression risk from HSV-2 meningitis to BRLM was 22% (95% confidence interval [CI] 15%-30%). The proportion of patients with the triad of headache, neck stiffness and photophobia/hyperacusis was similar between BRLM and single-episode HSV-2 meningitis (16/43 [37%] vs. 46/103 [45%]; p = 0.41), whilst the median cerebrospinal fluid leukocyte count was lower in BRLM (221 cells vs. 398 cells; p = 0.02). Unfavourable functional outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale score of 1-4) were less frequent in BRLM at all post-discharge follow-up visits. During the study period, 10 (21%) patients with BRLM were hospitalized for an additional recurrence (annual rate 6%, 95% CI 3%-12%). The hazard ratio for an additional recurrence was 3.93 (95% CI 1.02-15.3) for patients with three or more previous episodes of meningitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical features of BRLM were similar to those of single-episode HSV-2 meningitis, whilst post-discharge outcomes were more favourable. Patients with three or more previous episodes of meningitis had higher risk of an additional recurrence.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Neurology
Sider (fra-til)e16081
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2024


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