What is severe dengue (dengue hemorrhagic fever)?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

A small percentage of persons who have previously been infected by one dengue serotype develop bleeding and endothelial leak upon infection with another dengue serotype. This syndrome is termed severe dengue (reclassified in 2009 by the WHO, previously referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome).

Severe dengue has also been termed dengue vasculopathy. Vascular leakage in these patients results in hemoconcentration and serous effusions and can lead to circulatory collapse. This, in conjunction with severe hemorrhagic complications, can lead to a shock syndrome, which poses a greater fatality risk than bleeding per se. [7]


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