Critical West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease

Maximiliano A. Hawkes, Ivan D. Carabenciov, Eelco F.M. Wijdicks, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Data to guide neurointensivists seeing patients with West Nile Neuroinvasive disease (WNND) are lacking. We present a comparatively large series of patients with WNND admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and provide data on their early diagnosis, triage to the ICU and predictors of short-term outcomes. Methods: We retrospectively identified patients aged ≥ 18 years old with WNND from January 1999 to November 2016. Demographic and clinical data, the modified Rankin Scale at discharge and disposition were collected. Univariate analysis was performed to find predictors of ICU admission and to assess the impact of ICU admission on the short-term outcomes. P values < 0.05 were considered significant. Results: Among 26 patients, 16 were admitted to the ICU. Age < 60 years and the presentation with encephalitis and acute flaccid paralysis predicted ICU admission (P = 0.044 and 0.0007). Among patients requiring ICU admission, four died and no one was discharged home. ICU admission predicted longer hospital stay (P = 0.021), inhospital death (P = 0.034), survival with inability to walk independently (P = 0.0094), and discharge disposition other than home (P = 0.007). In the ICU group, older age was associated with longer hospital stay (P = 0.0001) and inhospital death (P = 0.035). Conclusion: WNND requiring ICU care has a high morbidity and mortality, especially among older patients. Survivors are highly disabled at discharge, but many improve over time. Therefore, more data on the long-term prognosis of survivors are needed to guide the goals of care in the acute setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Acute flaccid paralysis
  • Critical care
  • Encephalitis
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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