State-of-the-art monitoring in treatment of dengue shock syndrome: a case series

Moulton SL, Mulligan J, Srikiatkhachorn A, Kalayanarooj S, Grudic GZ, Green S, Gibbons RV, Muniz GW, Hinojosa-Laborde C, Rothman AL, Thomas SJ, Convertino VA

J Med Case Rep. 2016 Aug 24;10(1):233

PMID: 27553703



Early recognition and treatment of circulatory volume loss is essential in the clinical management of dengue viral infection. We hypothesized that a novel computational algorithm, originally developed for noninvasive monitoring of blood loss in combat casualties, could: (1) indicate the central volume status of children with dengue during the early stages of “shock”; and (2) track fluid resuscitation status.


Continuous noninvasive photoplethysmographic waveforms were collected over a 5-month period from three children of Thai ethnicity with clinical suspicion of dengue. Waveform data were processed by the algorithm to calculate each child’s Compensatory Reserve Index, where 1 represents supine normovolemia and 0 represents the circulatory volume at which hemodynamic decompensation occurs. Values between 1 and 0 indicate the proportion of reserve remaining before hemodynamic decompensation.


This case report describes a 7-year-old Thai boy, another 7-year-old Thai boy, and a 9-year-old Thai boy who exhibited signs and symptoms of dengue shock syndrome; all the children had secondary dengue virus infections, documented by serology and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. The three boys experienced substantial plasma leakage demonstrated by pleural effusion index >25, ascites, and >20 % hemoconcentration. They received fluid administered intravenously; one received a blood transfusion. All three boys showed a significantly low initial Compensatory Reserve Index (≥0.20), indicating a clinical diagnosis of “near shock”. Following 5 days with fluid resuscitation treatment, their Compensatory Reserve Index increased towards “normovolemia” (that is, Compensatory Reserve Index >0.75).


The results from these cases demonstrate a new variation in the diagnostic capability to manage patients with dengue shock syndrome. The findings shed new light on a method that can avoid possible adverse effects of shock by noninvasive measurement of a patient’s compensatory reserve rather than standard vital signs or invasive diagnostic methods.