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BackgroundDengue virus infection (DVI) is a major health problem in many parts of the world. Its manifestations range from asymptomatic infections to severe disease. Although cardiac involvement has been reported in DVI, its incidence has not yet been well established.MethodsFrom July 2016 to January 2018, patients hospitalized at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand, with dengue virus infection confirmed by positive NS1 or positive dengue immunoglobulin M findings, participated in the study. We characterized the incidence and change in cardiac function by serial echocardiography and levels of troponin-T and creatine kinase-myocardial band (CK-MB) on the day of admission, the day of defervescence, the first day of hypotension (if any), and at 2 week follow-up.ResultsOf the 81 patients evaluated, 6 (7.41%) exhibited elevated biomarker levels. There was no difference in clinical presentation amongst dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), except for the amount of bleeding. Cardiac involvement was found in 22.2% of patients: 3 (3.70%) had left ventricular systolic dysfunction, 3 (3.70%) had transient diastolic dysfunction, 6 (7.41%) had increased levels of at least one cardiac biomarker (troponin-T or CK-MB), and 6 (7.41%) had small pericardial effusion. Myocarditis was suspected in only two patients (with DHF); thus, myocarditis was uncommon in patients with dengue virus infection. Three patients developed DSS during admission and were transferred to the intensive care unit.ConclusionCardiac involvement in adults with dengue infection was common, ranging from elevated cardiac biomarker to myocarditis. Abnormalities in cardiac function had resolved spontaneously by the day of follow-up, without specific treatment. We found that DHF was a significant risk factor for cardiac involvement. Echocardiography is the investigation of choice for evaluating the haemodynamic status of patients with DVI, especially in severe dengue.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC infectious diseases

Publication Date





Department of Clinical Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


Heart, Humans, Dengue, Cardiomyopathies, Myocarditis, Echocardiography, Adult