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Enterovirus infections are associated with white matter damage in neonates


  • Conflict of interest: There is no conflict of interest.



To explore the imaging findings of neonatal infants infected with enteroviruses.


A retrospective study was conducted on 12 patients who were diagnosed with encephalitis caused by enterovirus. Clinical presentation, cranial ultrasonography (cUS), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and neurodevelopment outcome of 12 cases were analysed.


Twelve infants, with a gestational age of 35 to 39 weeks, presented at 36 to 41 weeks postmenstrual age with clinical symptoms of enterovirus infections. Ten of 12 neonatal infants had a fever and 4 of 12 presented with a sepsis-like illness. cUS in one preterm infant showed periventricular echogenicity. Neonatal MRI confirmed white matter changes in 12 infants. Follow-up of infants were 18 months. Outcome was variable with cerebral palsy in 2 infants and normal neurodevelopment outcome in 10 infants.


Enterovirus may cause severe central nervous system infection in the neonatal period. The neuroimaging studies are informative and should be a part of care for infants with enteroviruses.