Blood test predicts kids at risk for dengue shock syndrome


       The most serious life-threatening complication of dengue infection is dengue shock syndrome (DSS) seen primarily in children. Daily platelet counts in children in the early stages of dengue can predict those most at risk for DSS, researchers report in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

       More than a third of the world's population lives in areas at risk for dengue virus infection. It is a mosquito-borne illness caused by viruses. Most of the hundreds of millions of people a year who catch the virus recover after a few days of aching and fever but in some cases the disease can cause more severe complications. In children particularly, dengue can progress to dangerous DSS when plasma leaks out of small blood vessels.

       In the new work, Phung Khanh Lam of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam and colleagues followed 2,301 children aged 5 to 15 admitted to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City for suspected dengue between 2001 and 2009. Daily blood counts together with vital signs, symptoms and physical exam information at presentation were taken for each child, all of whom were enrolled in the first four days of the onset of symptoms. The researchers analyzed which factors were associated with a greater risk of developing DSS.


       Among the children in the study, 143 (6 percent) progressed to DSS. Risk factors present at enrollment that boosted a child's risk of later developing DSS included a history of vomiting, higher temperature, palpable liver and a lower platelet count. Moreover, daily platelet counts as well as changes in platelet counts over time helped to discriminate patients who went on to develop DSS. However, the model created based on these results has only moderate predictive value in identifying all patients who go on to get DSS and more research is needed to determine other factors that may be integrated into a more clinically useful prediction model.


       "Although the study was performed among hospitalized children the findings may be applicable to the population of children now managed as outpatients during the early phase of their illness in many large cities across southeast Asia," the researchers said. They added that "The findings reinforce the view that in the early febrile phase dengue is typically a rather non-specific illness, but also provide strong support for the WHO recommendation to perform daily full blood counts in order to monitor the platelet count closely in these patients.“



ENVIS CENTRE Newsletter Vol.15, Issue 2, Apr - Jun, 2017
Copyright © 2005 ENVIS Centre ! All rights reserved This site is optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution Query Form | Feedback | Privacy