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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


ACOSTA, Héctor F et al. Dengue-related hepatic compromise in children from the Huila department of Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.6, pp.978-988. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Dengue is the most important arthropod-borne viral disease in the world; it can be life-threatening because of liver involvement. Aim Determining liver involvement frequency and severity in dengue-infected children. Methods This was a descriptive case series study which involved studying 108 dengue-infected children aged less than 13 years old whose infection had been confirmed by the detection of dengue-specific IgM and NS1 in plasma. Clinical and biochemical parameters were used for evaluating liver involvement, including transaminases and albumin. Hepatitis A and leptospira infection were also evaluated by using ELISA to detect pathogen-specific IgM in plasma during acute and convalescence phases. The study was carried out at a teaching hospital in Neiva from June 2009 to May 2010. Results Ninety-eight of the aforementioned cases were clinically classified as dengue with warning signs (DWS) and 10 as severe dengue (SD). Two out of three DWS patients and all SD patients had some degree of liver involvement, shown clinically and biochemically. Regardless of the clinical classification, hepatomegaly was the main clinical sign of liver involvement and was present in 85% of all the children in the study. It is worth noting that 5 patients had probable dengue and leptospirosis co-infection, this being the first instance of this in Colombia. None of the cases analyzed here had acute hepatitis A. Conclusions Liver compromise should be considered in confirmed cases of dengue as shown in this series of children. Leptospirosis must be considered as differential diagnosis and also as causing co-infection in a febrile child.

Keywords : Dengue virus (DENV); hepatic dysfunction; hepatitis; dengue with warning signs (DWS); severe dengue (SD); leptospirosis.

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