In utero herpes simplex encephalitis

Anna Lee, Naor Bar-Zeev, Susan P. Walker, Michael Permezel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Transplacental intrauterine infection with herpes simplex virus is an extremely rare complication of primary herpes simplex in pregnancy. Overwhelming fetal sepsis might result in multiorgan failure, including fetal brain death. CASE: A 34-year-old multigravida presented with a healing ulcerative genital rash at 16 weeks' gestation. She subsequently reported at 28 weeks' gestation that there had been no fetal movements for 2 weeks. A cardiotocograph showed absent short- and long-term variability. At delivery, an infant was born with disseminated herpes simplex infection in poor condition. Active treatment was subsequently withdrawn, and postmortem examination confirmed disseminated herpes simplex type 2 infection. CONCLUSION: Transplacental herpes simplex is a rare and potentially lethal form of congenital herpes. Overwhelming in utero sepsis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of fetal brain death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1199
Number of pages3
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'In utero herpes simplex encephalitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this