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Unraveling scrub encephalitis: A study on the clinical profile and investigations of scrub encephalitis

 Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudha Vidyasagar,
Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/injms.injms_110_21

Introduction: Scrub encephalitis (SE) is one of the known causes of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). Although central nervous system involvement is known in scrub typhus, its association with AES is less understood and lesser diagnosed. In the absence of a point of care test for scrub typhus, cases of SE can be easily missed. A clinical approach using detailed history and clinical profiling of SE will help to diagnose SE in our region, using minimum resources, within a reasonable period. Aims: To analyze the clinical spectrum in patients of SE and to evaluate the investigations required to diagnose SE. Methodology: This is a retrospective study that analyzed Scrub typhus patients over 2 years from January 2018 to December 2019. A total of 370 patients were screened and 23 patients who satisfied the study criteria were included in the study and analyzed. Results: Among the cases of scrub typhus admitted in the hospital, the prevalence of SE was 6%. The most common presenting complaint was fever in 21 patients (91%) followed by altered sensorium in 16 (70%) and seizures in 9 patients (39%). An eschar was noted in 66% of the cases. The mean Glasgow Coma scale was 11 among the cases with almost 70% of cases showing signs of meningeal irritation. Organ involvement was noted as thrombocytopenia in 21 patients (91%), 16 patients (69%) with jaundice, and 1 (4%) with acute kidney injury. Conclusion: SE is an AES which, if detected early, is easily treatable with no residual neurological sequelae. Hence, identification of this condition and prompt diagnosis of SE becomes crucial to the management of this complication of scrub typhus.

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    -  Sukumar CA
    -  Bolanthakodi N
    -  Lakhmani L
    -  Singh A
    -  Vidyasagar S
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