Launch of DexEnceph Trial: Do steroids improve outcomes in HSV encephalitis?
The Brain Infections Group and the Clinical Virology Network are launching a trial of the use of dexamethasone in patients with Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis with the aims of determining if dexamethasone given in the acute stages of HSV encephalitis will improve patient outcomes.
HSV encephalitis is a rare but devastating condition. 10% of patients will die and the remaining survivors are often left with debilitating disability, particularly affecting memory. Despite it being classed as a rare condition, HSV encephalitis has disproportionate effects on patients, relatives and healthcare systems.
The diagnosis of HSV encephalitis will be the cornerstone of patient identifications and enrolment into the trial and thus we have worked in close collaboration to enable trial processes to be acceptable and effective at virology laboratories across the UK.
Involvement of virology and microbiology laboratories will be essential for the success of this trial and therefore we encourage any centre interested in research and brain infections to contact the DexEnceph trial team on [email protected] or telephone 0151 795 9688.
Michael Griffiths, Ian Hart, Cristina Fernandez, Tom Solomon and Mark Zuckerman
On behalf of the Brain Infections Group and Clinical Virology Network.