Journal Article

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: The Sensitivity and Specificity of the World Health Organization Definition for Identification of Severe Cases of Dengue in Thailand, 1994–2005

Anon Srikiatkhachorn, Robert V. Gibbons, Sharone Green, Daniel H. Libraty, Stephen J. Thomas, Timothy P. Endy, David W. Vaughn, Ananda Nisalak, Francis A. Ennis, Alan L. Rothman, Suchitra Nimmannitaya and Siripen Kalayanarooj

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 50, issue 8, pages 1135-1143
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/651268
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: The Sensitivity and Specificity of the World Health Organization Definition for Identification of Severe Cases of Dengue in Thailand, 1994–2005

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Background. Dengue virus infection causes a spectrum of clinical manifestations, usually classified according to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines into dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The ability of these guidelines to categorize severe dengue illness has recently been questioned.

Methods. We evaluated dengue case definitions in a prospective study at a pediatric hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, during 1994–2005. One thousand thirteen children were enrolled within the first 3 days after onset of fever and observed with standardized data collection. Cases were classified on the basis of application of the strict WHO criteria. All dengue virus infections were laboratory confirmed. We retrospectively grouped patients on the basis of whether they received significant intervention based on fluid replacement and/or requirements for blood transfusion.

Results. Eighty-five (58%) of 150 persons with DHF, 40 (15%) of 264 with DF, and 73 (12%) of 599 with other febrile illnesses (OFIs) received significant intervention. Sixty-eight percent of dengue cases requiring intervention met strict WHO criteria for DHF. In contrast, only 1% of OFI cases met WHO criteria for DHF. Plasma leakage and thrombocytopenia were the 2 components contributing to the specificity of the WHO case definition and identified dengue cases that required intervention. Hemorrhagic tendency did not reliably differentiate DF and DHF. In DF cases, thrombocytopenia and bleeding were associated with severity.

Journal Article.  4228 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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