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Int J Infect Dis. 2002 Mar;6(1):6-8.

Varicella pneumonia in patients with HIV/AIDS.

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1
Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital, Rietfontein, Republic of South Africa.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the potential role of steroid therapy combined with early antiviral and supportive care in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with varicella pneumonia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A retrospective review was conducted of the incidence, clinical course, and outcome of varicella pneumonia in patients with HIV or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

RESULTS:

Seven of 12 patients (58%) who were hospitalized with chickenpox developed clinically severe varicella pneumonia. All patients had advanced immunosuppression and all developed diffuse reticulonodular radiographic abnormalities, although two patients had normal chest radiographs on admission. All patients received antiviral therapy within 12 hours of hospital admission. The overall mortality rate was 43%. Six patients were treated with systemic corticosteroids in addition to antiviral agents, including all four of the survivors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hospitalized patients with HIV or AIDS with chickenpox are at high risk for developing varicella pneumonia. There is a potentially high rate of death despite prompt initiation of appropriate antiviral therapy. Intensive care management and adjunctive use of systemic corticosteroids may improve outcome.

PMID:
12044294
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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