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Case Report: Cardiac Tamponade in Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: An Unusual Manifestation of a Common Disease

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  • 1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
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Dengue hemorrhagic fever is one of the most commonly encountered mosquito-borne viral infections of humans worldwide with multiple reported outbreaks. Cardiac involvement is a known manifestation of the disease usually presenting as rhythm abnormalities, myocarditis, or pericardial effusion, which may be clinically asymptomatic. We describe a case of a 30-year-old woman who presented to us with high-grade fever, headache, retro-orbital pain, generalized maculopapular rash with bilateral pleural effusion, and hypotension. Dengue non-structural protein 1 (NS1) antigen and IgM antibodies were positive on admission, supporting a diagnosis of dengue hemorrhagic fever. Cardiac troponin-I was elevated on admission (65 ng/L) with diffuse convex ST segment elevations on electrocardiogram, suggestive of possible myopericarditis. Echocardiogram on admission revealed minimal pericardial effusion with preserved ejection fraction. Despite administration of fluids and inotrope use, the patient’s hypotension progressively deteriorated over the next 6 hours, associated with decreased urine output and worsening sensorium. Clinical examination revealed muffled heart sounds and raised jugular venous pressure. A repeat echocardiogram confirmed an increase in the pericardial effusion manifesting as cardiac tamponade. Ultrasound-guided pigtail catheter insertion led to a prompt removal of the excessive pericardial fluid and correction of hypotension. Early identification of this uncommon but important complication of dengue hemorrhagic fever led to a good outcome in our case.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Sagnik Biswas, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 3rd floor, Teaching block, AIIMS, New Delhi 110029, India. E-mail: sagnik_biswas@yahoo.co.in

Disclosure: Consent for reproduction of data and images was obtained from the patient.

Authors’ addresses: Sagnik Biswas, Prabhat Kumar, Ghazal Tansir, and Ashutosh Biswas, Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, E-mails: sagnik_biswas@yahoo.co.in, drkumar.prabhat@gmail.com, ghzl_complique@yahoo.com, and asuaiims@gmail.com.

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