DrPak

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Firstly, what's the different b/w encephalitis and encephalopathy?

I came across a question recently which required me knowing the clinical features of herpes simplex encephalitis to get the answer right. They were: fever, headache, focal neurological signs (altered mental status, unsteady gait) and an abnormal MRI (focal edema in right temporal lobe and insular cortex).

I'm thinking these signs are not specific enough to come to a diagnosis of HS encepthalitis. They could be found in a drunk who fell over, or a bunch of other things.
 
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DrPak said:
Firstly, what's the different b/w encephalitis and encephalopathy?

I came across a question recently which required me knowing the clinical features of herpes simplex encephalitis to get the answer right. They were: fever, headache, focal neurological signs (altered mental status, unsteady gait) and an abnormal MRI (focal edema in right temporal lobe and insular cortex).

I'm thinking these signs are not specific enough to come to a diagnosis of HS encepthalitis. They could be found in a drunk who fell over, or a bunch of other things.
Encephalitis as with anything ending in -itis (there's probably an exception out there but just generally) is an infective process. Encephalopathy, with the -pathy suffix, suggests just some general problem with the brain. Some common encephalopathies you run across on Step 1 are Wernicke's (mammillary body destruction from thiamine deficiency), hepatic (too much NH3 in liver failure) and hypertensive.

There's not a clear distinction though and one example of that would be Lyme encephalopathy, so called even though a bug is invovled.

But you're right in the first part in saying you don't have enough info to call that HSV encephalitis; you'd need more history to distinguish it just from scratch. Still, with answer choices present you'd be able to pick it out. Temporal lobe lesions are a classic finding (like 90% of cases) and I think a small temporal lobe lesion with those other signs would be HSVE until proven otherwise.
 

(nicedream)

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getianshi said:
Encephalitis as with anything ending in -itis (there's probably an exception out there but just generally) is an infective process. Encephalopathy, with the -pathy suffix, suggests just some general problem with the brain. Some common encephalopathies you run across on Step 1 are Wernicke's (mammillary body destruction from thiamine deficiency), hepatic (too much NH3 in liver failure) and hypertensive.

There's not a clear distinction though and one example of that would be Lyme encephalopathy, so called even though a bug is invovled.

But you're right in the first part in saying you don't have enough info to call that HSV encephalitis; you'd need more history to distinguish it just from scratch. Still, with answer choices present you'd be able to pick it out. Temporal lobe lesions are a classic finding (like 90% of cases) and I think a small temporal lobe lesion with those other signs would be HSVE until proven otherwise.

-itis means inflammatory process not infective.
 
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werd

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sooo, just from the words... as per above, encephalitis is inflammaion. encephalopathy is any pathology/dysfunction of the, um, encephalon. so wernicke's encephalopathy but viral encephalitis.
 
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