Evaluation of Cardiac Involvement in Children with Dengue by Serial Echocardiographic Studies

Kirawittaya T, Yoon IK, Wichit S, Green S, Ennis FA, Gibbons RV, Thomas SJ, Rothman AL, Kalayanarooj S, Srikiatkhachorn A

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2015 Jul;9(7):e0003943

PMID: 26226658


BACKGROUND: Infection with dengue virus results in a wide range of clinical manifestations from dengue fever (DF), a self-limited febrile illness, to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which is characterized by plasma leakage and bleeding tendency. Although cardiac involvement has been reported in dengue, the incidence and the extent of cardiac involvement are not well defined.

METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We characterized the incidence and changes in cardiac function in a prospective in-patient cohort of suspected dengue cases by serial echocardiography. Plasma leakage was detected by serial chest and abdominal ultrasonography. Daily cardiac troponin-T levels were measured. One hundred and eighty one dengue cases were enrolled. On the day of enrollment, dengue cases that already developed plasma leakage had lower cardiac index (2695 (127) vs 3188 (75) (L/min/m2), p = .003) and higher left ventricular myocardial performance index (.413 (.021) vs .328 (.026), p = .021) and systemic vascular resistance (2478 (184) vs 1820 (133) (dynes┬Ěs/cm5), p = .005) compared to those without plasma leakage. Early diastolic wall motion of the left ventricle was decreased in dengue cases with plasma leakage compared to those without. Decreased left ventricular wall motility was more common in dengue patients compared to non-dengue cases particularly in cases with plasma leakage. Differences in cardiac function between DF and DHF were most pronounced around the time of plasma leakage. Cardiac dysfunction was transient and did not require treatment. Transient elevated troponin-T levels were more common in DHF cases compared to DF (14.5% vs 5%, p = 0.028).

CONCLUSIONS: Transient left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction was common in children hospitalized with dengue and related to severity of plasma leakage. The functional abnormality spontaneously resolved without specific treatment. Cardiac structural changes including myocarditis were uncommon.