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|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 790-791
Dengue Encephalitis and Dengue Hepatitis in an Infant
Geetika Srivastava, Nanda S Chhavi
Department of Pediatrics, Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Submission||07-Dec-2019|
|Date of Decision||08-Feb-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||12-Jul-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||3-May-2022|
Dr. Nanda S Chhavi
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Era's Lucknow Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow - 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Srivastava G, Chhavi NS. Dengue Encephalitis and Dengue Hepatitis in an Infant. Neurol India 2022;70:790-1
Dengue encephalitis (DE) is an atypical neurological manifestation of dengue virus (DENV) infection. Here we report a 4-month-old child who presented, on third day of illness, with high-grade fever, irritability, refusal to feed, and generalized seizures followed by drowsiness for 12 h. The baby had uneventful antenatal, perinatal, neonatal periods, and normal development. He was vaccinated according to age and had received last vaccination about 2 weeks ago. The child was febrile, hemodynamically stable, irritable, and had multiple petechae. The fundus examination was normal and there were no meningeal signs, fullness of fontanelles, or focal neurological deficit. The child had normal size liver and splenomegaly.
Dengue fever was diagnosed with a combination of acute febrile illness, ongoing dengue epidemic, low platelet counts (minimum was 30,000/micro liters), and NS1 antigen positivity. Total bilirubin 3.2 mg%, alanine aminotransferase 643 IU/L, and aspartate aminotransferase 1423 IU/L suggested liver injury. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination was normal (nonturbid, normal cell count, sugar 68 mg%, protein 14 mg%, Gram stain negative, and culture sterile). Virological studies of CSF were not done. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed hyperintensities in globus pallidus in T1-weighted images [Figure 1]. The child improved with supportive care without neurological sequelae. Laboratory investigations were normalized in 3 weeks' time.
The baby simultaneously had DE and dengue hepatitis. The encephalitis was marked with altered sensorium and hyperintensities in globus pallidus and hepatitis manifested with markedly increased serum levels of liver enzymes.
The DENV has tropism for liver cells. The affinity of the DENV for hepatocyte is reflected in the high frequency of dengue hepatitis in patients with dengue infection. DENV also is a member of genus Flavivirus which includes few of the known neurotropic viruses such as Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus. Encephalitis is a result of direct neural invasion by DENV.
The dengue antigen or antibody testing in CSF has limitations such as it needs expertise, risk of complications, restricted availability, and limited diagnostic yield. Further, the CSF examination is reported as normal in majority of those with DE. MRI of the brain has occasionally identified hyperintensities in globus pallidus which is known as “Double Doughnut Sign.” The child had DF, features of neurological involvement, and hyperintensities in globus pallidus.
In conclusion, DE should be considered as a possibility in an infant with dengue fever who develops features of brain involvement.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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