Original Article | Open Access
John Odame, Joan Robinson, Nasser Khodai-Booran, Simon Yeung, Tony Mazzulli, Derek Stephens, Upton D Allen, "Correlates of Illness Severity in Infectious Mononucleosis", Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 25, Article ID 514164, 4 pages, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/514164
Correlates of Illness Severity in Infectious Mononucleosis
INTRODUCTION: Understanding the spectrum and frequencies of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) complications and markers of illness severity in immunocompetent patients with primary EBV infection will inform management of patients with EBV-related illnesses.OBJECTIVES:To determine the clinical and laboratory correlates of illness severity among infants, children and youth with infectious mononucleosis (IM).METHODS: Study subjects with confirmed IM were prospectively enrolled. Illness severity was assessed at baseline and at six weeks using a scoring tool. Peripheral blood viral loads served as a measure of viral burden.RESULTS: Among 32 children and young adults with IM, the median age was 16 years (range two to 24 years). The predominant clinical findings were lymphadenopathy (23 of 32 [72%]), pharyngitis (16 of 32 [50%]), fever (nine of 32 [28%]) and splenomegaly (six of 32 [19%]). With respect to symptoms or signs that persisted to at least six weeks after illness onset, the predominant complaint was lymphadenopathy in 35% of subjects available for reassessment. Deranged liver function tests were present at presentation in up to 44% of subjects. Patients with the highest viral loads at presentation had significantly higher illness severity scores associated with fatigue (P=0.02). Other than the scores associated with fatigue, viral load values were not significantly correlated with the illness severity scores at baseline and at six weeks.CONCLUSION: In IM, viral loads are not necessarily correlated with illness severity, with the exception of fatigue. EBV-related hepatitis is common in IM, confirming the status of this virus as a relatively common cause of transient hepatitis in children and youth. This entity is not necessarily a marker of disease severity.
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