Double trouble: hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in a child with Dengue fever

Minal Wade, Nusrat Inamdar, Baraturam Bhaisara, Anupama Mauskar


The epidemic of Dengue is steadily increasing in more than 100 endemic countries. During critical phase, of this disease, shock with organ dysfunction and severe bleeding, can occur. Rarely, it can be further complicated by Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which results from aberrant activation of immune mechanism. HLH is a rare, frequently fatal if untreated condition. It challenging to diagnose because initial symptoms mimic other conditions which are more common. Dengue induced Secondary Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), may be responsible for severe form of Dengue with adverse outcomes. We describe a case of an infant, with Dengue fever whose clinical situation deteriorated after being stable during initial phases of illness due to development of Secondary Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). The child had persistent fever, anemia, hepatomegaly with deranged coagulation which directed towards diagnosis of Secondary Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). We discuss the features of our case and its management to sensitize the clinicians to consider this condition in patients with severe Dengue fever.


Bicytopenia, Dengue fever, Ferritin, Infection, Immunoglobulin, Secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis

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