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Invest Clin. 2013 Sep;54(3):299-310.

[Frequency of gastrointestinal signs and symptoms of dengue. Analysis of a cohort of 1484 patients].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Cátedra de Bioquímica General, Escuela de Bioanálisis, Maracaibo-Venezuela.
Sección de Virología, Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas Dr. Américo Negrette, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Zulia, Maracaibo-Venezuela.
Laboratorio Regional de Salud Pública, MPPS, Maracaibo-Venezuela.


Dengue is characterized by fever, headache, arthralgia and myalgia. The presence of gastrointestinal signs and symptoms (GISS) is considered a sign of alarm in dengue; however, little information exists regarding the occurrence of these events. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of gastrointestinal signs and symptoms in a cohort of patients with dengue. A total of 1484 medical records of patients with confirmed dengue were reviewed and classified as: dengue without warning signs (DNWS) (n = 700), dengue with warning signs (DWWS) (n = 700) and severe dengue (SD) (n = 84). Of the studied records, 65.71% of patients with DNWS, 92.59% with DWWS and 100% of patients with SD had GISS. In patients with DNWS, nausea / vomiting were the most common symptoms in 319/700 cases (45.57%), followed by abdominal pain in 142/700 (20.29%) and diarrhea in 125/700 (17.86%). There were no cases with melena, hepatomegaly or hematemesis. While in DWWS nausea/vomiting were present in 529/700 (75.57%), abdominal pain in 439/700 (62.71%) and diarrhea in 198/700 (28.28%),(p <0.0001). Melena, hematemesis and hepatomegaly ranged from 0.57% to 1.86% of cases. In SD, nausea/vomiting were registered in 100% of the cases, abdominal pain in 82/84 (97.62%), diarrhea in 65/84 (77.38%), melena in 32/84 (38.10%), hepatomegaly in 28/84 (33.33%) and hematemesis in 26/84 (30.95%). It was evident the high frequency of GISS in cases of DWWS and SD, in contrast to DNWS, in which the frequency of GISS was significantly lower. This suggests a relationship of GISS with the severity of dengue, and their presence should be considered by the decision-making health team for appropriate patient management.

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