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J Intern Med. 1992 Jul;232(1):87-90.

Complications of nephropathia epidemica: three cases.

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Unit of Intensive Care, Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Finland.


Haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Scandinavia is called nephropathia epidemica (NE), and is caused by the Puumala-virus, which belongs to the Hanta-virus genus. The clinical course of NE is mostly benign, complications are uncommon, and deaths are rarely observed. We report the cases of three patients who developed serious complications in the course of NE caused by the Puumala-virus. One patient died within 24 h after admission, another developed progressive neuromuscular dysfunction (Guillain-Barré syndrome) which required auxiliary ventilation for several weeks before a slow recovery, and a third patient developed empty sella syndrome with pituitary gland insufficiency. In the first two cases the diagnosis of NE was confirmed by a rapid avidity assay for IgG antibody against Puumala-virus. In the third case the clinical course, and demonstration of NE immunity 16 years later, suggested that NE might have caused the hypopituitarism. Some patients with NE caused by the Puumala-virus may require intensive-care treatment, and the development of late complications such as empty sella syndrome and hypopituitarism should be taken into consideration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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