Severity of acute hepatitis and its outcome in patients with dengue fever in a tertiary care hospital Karachi, Pakistan (South Asia)

Om Parkash, Aysha Almas, SM Wasim Jafri, Saeed Hamid, Jaweed Akhtar, Hasnain Alishah

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Background: Liver injury due to dengue viral infection is not uncommon. Acute liver injury is a severe complicating factor in dengue, predisposing to life-threatening hemorrhage, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) and encephalopathy. Therefore we sought to determine the frequency of hepatitis in dengue infection and to compare the outcome (length of stay, in hospital mortality, complications) between patients of Dengue who have mild/moderate (ALT 23-300 IU/L) v/s severe acute hepatitis (ALT > 300 IU/L).Methods: A Cohort study of inpatients with dengue viral infection done at Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. All patients (≥ 14 yrs age) admitted with diagnosis of Dengue Fever (DF), Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) were included. Chi square test was used to compare categorical variables and fischer exact test where applicable. Survival analysis (Cox regression and log rank) for primary outcome was done. Student t test was used to compare continuous variables. A p value of less than or equal to 0.05 was taken as significant.Results: Six hundred and ninety nine patients were enrolled, including 87% (605) patients with DF and 13% (94) patients with DHF or DSS. Liver functions tests showed median ALT of 88.50 IU/L; IQR 43.25-188 IU/L, median AST of 174 IU/L; IQR 87-371.5 IU/L and median T.Bil of 0.8 mg/dl; IQR 0.6-1.3 mg/dl. Seventy one percent (496) had mild to moderate hepatitis and 15% (103) had severe hepatitis. Mean length of stay (LOS) in patients with mild/moderate hepatitis was 3.63 days v.s 4.3 days in those with severe hepatitis (P value 0.002). Overall mortality was 33.3% (n = 6) in mild/moderate hepatitis vs 66.7% (n = 12) in severe hepatitis group (p value < 0.001). Cox regression analysis also showed significantly higher mortality in severe hepatitis group (H.R (4.91; 95% CI 1.74-13.87 and P value 0.003) and in DHF/DSS (5.43; CI 1.86-15.84 and P value 0.002). There was a significant difference for the complications like Bleeding (P value < 0.001), Acute Renal failure (ARF) (P value 0.002), Acalculus cholecystitis (P value 0.04) and encephalopathy (P value 0.02) in mild/moderate and Severe hepatitis groups respectively.Conclusion: Severe hepatitis (SGPT>300IU) in Dengue is associated with prolonged LOS, mortality, bleeding and RF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
JournalBMC Gastroenterology
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2010


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