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Incidence and Mortality of Herpes Simplex Encephalitis in Denmark: a nationwide registry-based cohort study

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OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the incidence and mortality of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) in a nationwide cohort.

METHODS: From the Danish National Patient Registry, we identified all adults hospitalised with a first-time diagnosis of HSE in Denmark during 2004-2014. The HSE diagnoses were verified using medical records and microbiological data. Patients were followed for mortality through the Danish Civil Registry System. We estimated age-standardised incidence rates of HSE and 30-day, 60-day, and 1-year cumulative mortality. Furthermore, we assessed whether calendar year, age, gender, level of comorbidity, virus type, and department type was associated with HSE mortality.

RESULTS: We identified a total of 230 cases of HSE. Median age was 60.7 years (interquartile range: 49.3-71.6). The overall incidence rate was 4.64 cases per million population per year (95% confidence interval: 4.06-5.28). The cumulative mortality within 30 days, 60 days, and 1 year of the HSE admission was 8.3%, 11.3%, and 18.6%, respectively. Advanced age and presence of comorbidity was associated with increased 60-day and 1-year mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide study of verified HSE found a higher incidence than reported in previous nationwide studies. Presence of comorbidity were identified as a novel adverse prognostic factors. Mortality rates following HSE remain high.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of infection
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2016

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