A comparison of the pattern of liver involvement in dengue hemorrhagic fever with classic dengue fever.Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2000 Jun; 31(2):259-63.SA
The impact of dengue on liver function was studied on fifty serologically confirmed dengue cases admitted to Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM). Twenty-five of these patients had classic dengue fever (DF) and 25 had grade 1 or 2 dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). There were more (60%) DHF patients with hepatomegaly compared to DF (40%) but the difference was not statistically significant. Analysis of the liver profile showed that liver dysfunction was commoner in DHF compared to DF, indicating that the degree of liver impairment may be related to the severity of DHF. Hyperbilirubinemia was noted in 3 (12%) DHF and 2 (8%) DF patients. The mean (range) serum bilirubin was higher in DHF [14.2(5-50) micromol/l] compared to DF [10.9(5-30) micromol/l)] (p > 0.05). Elevated levels of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were observed more frequently in DHF (20 and 12 patients respectively) compared to DF (16 and 8 patients respectively). Nine (36%) DHF and 6 (24%) DF patients had concomitant elevation of ALT and ALP levels. The mean (range) serum ALT levels were 109.3(23-325) U/l in DHF and 90.8(13-352) U/l in DF (p > 0.05). The mean (range) serum ALP levels were 102.2(15-319) U/l in DHF and 93.3(34-258) U/l in DF (p > 0.05). The ALT and ALP levels were significantly higher in DHF patients with spontaneous bleeding than those without bleeding (p < 0.05) None of the patients developed fulminant hepatitis. The immunoregulatory cells, which include the T (CD3), B (CD 19), CD4, CD8, CD5 and natural killer (NK) cells were significantly lower in DHF compared to DF patients (p < 0.05). However, the reduction in these cell counts did not correlate with the liver dysfunction seen in DHF patients. In conclusion, hepatomegaly and liver dysfunction were commoner in DHF compared to DF.