Heart and liver are infected in fatal cases of dengue: Three PCR based case studies 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1103 Clinical Sciences

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Abstract

Background: Dengue is a global problem mainly in the tropics. Meticulous clinical management of cases has reduced the death rate significantly, but large numbers of people still succumb to severe complications of the infection. Presence of myocarditis is often overlooked leading to a poor outcome. Clinical management guidelines of dengue do not stress the importance of myocarditis as a manifestation in dengue infection. Severe hepatic dysfunction also needs emphasis. Case presentation: We present three patients who had come to hospital on the 3rd day of fever. Two of them (case 1 and 3) were in shock on admission and case 2, who was stable on the3 rd day, went into the critical phase and developed shock while in the hospital on the 4 th day. All three had tachycardia on admission that got worse with time. The clinical course was unstable with fluctuations in urine output and deterioration of organ function. Despite frequent monitoring and life support they survived only 2-3 days in hospital. All three patients had myocarditis during the critical phase. In the first case, myocarditis was confirmed by troponin estimation and echocardiogram. In the second and third cases, histopathology confirmed myocarditis. Haemorrhagic necrosis of the liver was found in case 2 and 3 with exponential rise of transaminases. In all three cases, viral RNA was detected in both heart and liver tissues by PCR amplification. Conclusions: We stress that detection of myocarditis and liver involvement in any dengue patient is important from the onset of the illness where treatment should be tailored to prevent development of hypotension. Our findings are novel as PCR and histology are rarely done on tissues of deceased dengue patients in the world. Studies are needed to find therapeutic interventions to reverse cardiac and hepatic dysfunction in dengue infection.

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Kularatne, S. A. M., Rajapakse, M. M., Ralapanawa, U., Waduge, R., Pathirage, L. P. M. M. K., & Rajapakse, R. P. V. J. (2018). Heart and liver are infected in fatal cases of dengue: Three PCR based case studies 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1103 Clinical Sciences. BMC Infectious Diseases, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-018-3603-x

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