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Leptospirosis in northeastern Thailand: hypotension and complications.

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Department of Medicine, Loei Hospital, Thailand.


During an outbreak of leptospirosis in northeastern Thailand, 148 patients with serologically diagnosed leptospirosis were seen in Loei Hospital. The clinical features were consistent with those described for the classic manifestation of the disease. However, hypotension was a common finding: noted in 94 patients (64%) upon admission or early in the course of the disease. Of these hypotensive patients, 64 (68%) had impaired renal function: 30 patients (32%) had prerenal azotemia and 34 (36%) were in renal failure. Pulmonary complications, including pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, ARDS, and interstitial pneumonitis, occurred in 22% of patients and were often associated with renal failure. A clear association existed between hypotension and renal failure and pulmonary complications. The overall mortality rate was 3.4%. The causes of death were pulmonary complications, renal failure, and sepsis. The death rate among patients with complications was 11.6%. Blood exchange, in addition to conventional treatment, was beneficial in severe leptospirosis with complications and hyperbilirubinemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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