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Case Reports in Critical Care
Volume 2012, Article ID 359360, 4 pages
Case Report

Fatal Multiorgan Failure Associated with Disseminated Herpes Simplex Virus-1 Infection: A Case Report

1Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy, Saarland University Hospital, Kirrberger Straße, D-66421 Homburg, Germany
2Institute of Virology, Saarland University Hospital, D-66421 Homburg, Germany
3Institute of Pathology, Saarland University Hospital, D-66421 Homburg, Germany
4Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Saarland University Hospital, D-66421 Homburg, Germany
5Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Saarland University Hospital, D-66421 Homburg, Germany

Received 16 June 2012; Accepted 26 August 2012

Academic Editors: M. Egi, Z. Molnar, and K. S. Waxman

Copyright © 2012 Michael Glas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infections cause typical dermal and mucosal lesions in children and adults. Also complications to the peripheral and central nervous system, pneumonia or hepatitis are well known. However, dissemination to viscera in adults is rare and predominantly observed in immunocompromised patients. Here we describe the case of a 70-year-old male admitted with macrohematuria and signs of acute infection and finally deceasing in a septic shock with multi organ failure 17 days after admission to intensive care unit. No bacterial or fungal infection could be detected during his stay, but only two days before death the patient showed signs of rectal, orolabial and genital herpes infection. The presence of HSV-1 was detected in swabs taken from the lesions, oropharyngeal fluid as well as in plasma. Post-mortem polymerase chain reaction analyses confirmed a disseminated infection with HSV-1 involving various organs and tissues but excluding the central nervous system. Autopsy revealed a predominantly retroperitoneal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma as the suspected origin of immunosuppression underlying herpes simplex dissemination.