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Gac Med Mex. 2016 Nov - Dec;152(6):789-795.

[Complications and cause of death in mexican children with rocky mountain spotted fever].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora, Hermosillo, Son., México.
Servicio de Anatomía Patológica, Hospital Infantil del Estado de Sonora, Hermosillo, Son., México.



Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a life threatening disease caused by Rickettsia rickettsia, characterized by multisystem involvement.


We studied 19 dead children with Rocky Mountain spotted fever. All children who were suspected of having rickettsial infections were defined as having Rocky Mountain spotted fever by serology test and clinical features. Through the analysis of each case, we identified the clinical profile and complications associated to the death of a patient.


In nine (69.2%) of 13 cases that died in the first three days of admission, the associated condition was septic shock. Others complications included respiratory distress causes by non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, renal impairment, and multiple organ damage.


The main cause of death in this study was septic shock. The fatality rate from Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be related to the severity of the infection, delay in diagnosis, and delay in initiation of antibiotic therapy. Pulmonary edema and cerebral edema can be usually precipitated by administration of excess intravenous fluids.

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