In the indexed medical literature, there have been a very limited number of studies to investigate the epidemiologic and clinical features of enteroviral meningitis in Turkey. The aim of the present retrospective study is to update the actual situation to recognize the spectrum and magnitude of this important clinical entity. Between June 1999 and December 2004, 612 cases of aseptic meningitis were followed up at our hospital. Enteroviral meningitis was defined by isolation of enteroviruses from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and/or stool samples. Mumps virus was detected in 310 cases (50.7%) and enteroviruses were the etiologic agents in 104 (17%) of the patients with aseptic meningitis. Most of the enteroviral meningitis cases (36 cases, 34.6%) were diagnosed in August and 70 (67.3%) of them were male. The mean age was 5.6 ± 3.4 years. The most common initial symptoms were fever (81.7%), vomiting (77.9%) and headache (57.7%). In the physical examination, 46.2% of the cases had neck stiffness and 38.5% had pharyngitis. Echovirus 30 was the most frequently (38 cases, 36.5%) isolated enterovirus with peaks in 1999, 2002 and 2004. The other frequently isolated enteroviruses were Coxsackie virus type B (17 cases, 16.3%), echovirus 6 (11 cases, 10.6%), echovirus 11 (6 cases, 5.8%), and echovirus 13 (4 cases, 3.8 %). Mean hospitalization time was 6.2 ± 2.4 days. All patients recovered without any sequelae. Enteroviruses have an important role in childhood aseptic meningitis cases in Turkey too, and the predominant serotypes vary according to years.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.