Adenovirus (Adv) is a frequent etiology of acute respiratory tract infections. Although rare, neurologic manifestations are known to occur during Adv infection.
We retrospectively analyzed clinical, laboratory, outcome and the relationship between clinical characteristics and viral detection results in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in children with Adv-associated central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction.
(1.5%) cases had Adv-associated CNS manifestations. The median age was 1.4 years and 20 (95%) were less than 5 years of age. Six (28%) were male. The most frequently cited CNS symptoms were altered consciousness (100%) and seizure (14.3%). Fourteen cases (73.7%) had abnormal electroencephalogram examination and 6 cases (37.5%) had abnormal imaging. None of the patients had received cidofovir administration. Twenty children recovered without sequelae and 1 patient died of respiratory failure. Patients with positive Adv polymerase chain reaction (n = 11) presented lower onset age compared with that of patients with negative Adv polymerase chain reaction (n = 10) in the CSF. Clinical manifestation, laboratory findings, imaging studies and electroencephalogram showed no significant difference between the 2 groups.
Adv is a rare cause of CNS disease in children, mainly causing altered consciousness. Adv was detected in more cases in the respiratory tract than the CSF, but the majority of patients had the virus detected in both. The lack of Adv in the CSF does not exclude CNS involvement. Furthermore, the viral detection results in the CSF do not seem useful as an indicator of the severity of CNS disease.