Paediatrica Indonesiana

Case Report
VOLUME 51 NUMBER 5 November º 2O11
372 º Paediatr Indones, Vol. 51, No. 6, November 2011
Hemolytic uremic syndrome and hypertensive crisis
post dengue hemorrhagic fever: a case report
Mervin Tri Hadianto, Omega Mellyana
From the Department of Child Health, Medical School, Diponegoro
University, Dr. Kariadi Hospital, Semarang, Indonesia.
Request reprint to: Hadianto, MD, Department of Child Health,
Medical School, Diponegoro University, Dr. Kariadi Hospital, Semarang,
lndonesia. l-mail:
emolvti c-uremi c svndrome (HUS)
clinically manifests as acute renal failure,
hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia.
Acute renal fai lure wi th oli guri a,
hypertension, and proteinuria usually develops in
affected patients.
In children under 15 years of age,
tvpical HUS occurs at a rate of O.91 cases per 1OO,OOO
The initial onset of this disease usually
happens in children below 3 years of age. Incidence
is similar in boys and girls. Seasonal variation occurs,
with HUS peaking in the summer and fall. In young
children, spontaneous recovery is common. In
adults, the probability of recovery is low when HUS
is associated with severe hypertension.
Damage to endothelial cells is the primary event
in the pathogenesis of HUS. This damage can occur
as a result of dengue virus infection. Deficiency of
factor H, membrane cofactor protein, or factor I results
in excessive complement deposition, which promotes
the development of microthrombi in the kidneys and
other tissues. The cardinal lesion is composed of
arteriolar and capillary microthrombi (thrombotic
microan,iopathv |1MA]) and red blood cell (RBC)
HUS is mostly associated with E.coli O157:H7
and classified into 2 main cate,ories, dependin,
on its association with Shi,a-like toxin. Shi,a-like
toxin-associated HUS (Stx-HUS) is the classic,
tvpical, primarv or epidemic form of HUS. Òne-fourth
of patients present without diarrhea (denoted as
D-HUS). Most cases of D÷HUS occur in epidemics,
and are associated with contaminated food or water,
swimming in contaminated water, contact with cattle,
contaminated environments or person to person
transmission. Acute renal failure occurs in 55-7O'
of patients, but as manv as 7O-o5' of patients recover
renal function.
Hypertensive crisis with blood pressure
5O' hi,her than the 95th percentile for a,e, hei,ht, and
gender, is a complication of acute renal failure due to
Viral etiolo,ies for HUS (atvpical HUS), such
as Portillo, Coxsackie, influenza, lpstein Barr, rotavirus,
and den,ue are rare (incidence rate <O.3').
Supportive care is the mainstay of HUS therapy.
Dialysis and renal transplantation are performed
when necessary. The role of antimicrobial agents in
the treatment of HUS is controversial. There is little
evidence that antibiotics are beneficial. Furthermore,
indirect evidence suggests that antimicrobials may be
dangerous in many cases of E.coli Ò157:H7. 1here is
also controversy on the benefits of therapy with fresh
frozen plasma transfusion, ,lucocorticoids, heparin,
thrombolytic agents, and prostacyclin.
treatment, approximatelv 5' of children with HUS
Mervin T. Hadianto et al: Hemolytic uremic syndrome following dengue hemorrhagic fever
Paediatr Indones, Vol. 51, No. 6, November 2011 º 373
die of the disease and 1O' have severe chronic renal
We present a case of atypical HUS with acute
renal failure and hypertensive crisis following a dengue
fever infection. Supportive therapy resulted in a good
outcome, without need for hemodialysis.
Case Report
An o-vear-old bov was referred to a ,overnment
hospital with a 12 dav historv of sudden, hi,h,
continuous fever and vomitin, 1-2 times dailv. He
had no historv of seizures, shiverin,, cou,h, sneezin,,
diarrhea, purpuric rash or other bleeding. During
first 4 days of fever, he went to a private hospital for
blood tests which showed haemo,lobin (Hb) of 13.2
,/dl, leukocvtes 2,7OO/Ml, platelet count 116,OOO/ML,
and ne,ative Widal test. He refused hospitalization.
On the 7th day of fever, he had petechiae and
abdominal pain. Blood tests showed a secondary
dengue fever infection (positive dengue IgG and
l,M), so he was hospitalized. He received intravenous
Rin,er's lactate solution, amoxicillin injection,
dexamethasone injection, paracetamol, lanzoprazole,
ondansetron, and multivitamins. Amoxicillin was
chan,ed to ceftriaxone injection on the second dav
of hospitalization. His platelet count decreased to
17,OOO/ML, followed by a slow increase. On the fourth
dav of hospitalization, he had vomitin,, oli,uria,
and hvpertension (13O/9O mmH,). His laboratorv
results were Hb o.2 ,/dl and platelet count 76,OOO/
ML. Renal sonography suggested glomerulonephritis.
His pediatrician changed ceftriaxone to amoxicillin
injection a,ain, and ,ave him lV vitamin C 1x1OO
m,, lV furosemide, and captopril 2x12.5 m,. Òn
the fifth dav of hospitalization, blood ,as analvsis
(BOA) showed pH 7.17, pÒ
1O6, pCÒ
26, Bl
-5, HCÒ
1o.2, and liÒ
21'. Blood tests showed
Hb 6.6 ,/dl, leukocvtes 13,5OO/Ml, hematocrit (Ht)
19', platelet count 95,OOO /ML, and blood smears
revealed schistocytes and Burr cells. The pediatrician
diagnosed HUS and recommended hemodialysis,
therefore, he was referred to Dr. Kariadi Hospital
due to his government insurance coverage (Jamkesda
Kodva Semaran,).
In the emergency room, he had an ill appearance,
flushed skin, anemia, mild edema in the lower
extremities, ,ood nutrition, and no petechiae. BP
was 15O/12O mmH,, respiratorv rate (RR) 2ox/min,
and heart rate (HR) o6x/min. lun, auscultation
revealed crackles and his liver was palpated 1/3-1/3
with a sharp border. Laboratory results revealed
anemia (Hb 6.5 ,/dl with normal RDW and
ervthrocvte index), leukocvtosis (19,5OO/ML
, and
thrombocvtopenia (75,OOO/ML
. Blood urea was
171 m,/dl and serum creatinine was 1.19 m,/dl
(OlR: 11.9 ml/minute/1.73 m
), hvpocalcemia at
1.o9 mmol/l, hvponatremia at 135 mmol/l, serum
total protein 1.3 ,/dl, hvpoalbuminemia at 2.1 ,/dl
(n), and hvperuricemia at 11.2 m,/dl. Urinalvsis
showed 3÷ proteinuria, 3-5 ,ranular casts/HPl, and
2-6 RBC/ HPl. llectrocardio,ram showed normal
sinus rhythm. BGA showed pH 7.46, pO
26, HCÒ
1o.2, Bl -5.5, AaDÒ
1O.3, liÒ
21', PÒ
5O9. Chest X-rav showed edema
in both lun,s, with a pleural effusion index (Pll)
of 1o'. Òphthamolo,ic examination revealed no
hypertensive retinopathy, but he had myopia V OD
2/6O, V ÒS 1/6O, corrected with ,lasses of ÒD -1O,
ÒS -1O. He diuresed at a rate of O.3 ml cc/k,/min
on day 1, increasing to normal diuresis by day 4 (>1
The patient was assessed as having HUS with
hypertensive crisis and was given supportive therapy,
along with intravenous furosemide, ceftriaxone,
calcium gluconate, ranitidine, sublingual nifedipine,
roborantia, captopril, and allopurinol. After four days,
his blood pressure returned towards normal (11O/9O
mmH,), his extremitv edema disappeared, his lun,s
were clear and his liver was no longer palpable. He
received PRBC transfusion on dav two, but no platelet
concentrate, and his post-transfusion Hb was 11 m,/dl
with platelet count o1,OOO/ML. His discharge diagnosis
was HUS with hvpertension (95th-99th percentile)
and severe myopia.
Òn his first follow-up visit (6 davs followin,
dischar,e), he had a desquamative post-dru,
eruption, and was treated with urederm twice a day.
By the end of six weeks, the dermatitis had improved
and his blood pressure had returned to normal
(1OO/7O mmH,), so the captopril was stopped.
laboratorv findin,s revealed Hb 12.6 ,/dl, leukocvtes
1O,2OO/ML, platelet count 171,OOO/ML, urea 19 m,/
dl, creatinine O.6 m,/dl, with normal electrolvtes
and urinalysis.
Mervin T. Hadianto et al: Hemolytic uremic syndrome following dengue hemorrhagic fever
374 º Paediatr Indones, Vol. 51, No. 6, November 2011
1his patient exhibited the triad si,ns of HUS:
(1) hemolvtic anemia, in that he had a severelv
decreased Hb level alon, with hemolvsis |Burr
cells, schistocvtes] potentiallv tri,,ered bv den,ue
fever |l,O and l,M-positive] and perhaps a
nonspecific bacterial infection |leukocvtosis, but
no clear infection focus], (2) thrombocvtopenia,
and (3) acute renal failure, with oli,uria, azotemia
|i ncreased urea, creati ni ne], and decreased
GFR. The pathogenesis of HUS is unknown.
Damage to endothelial cells occurring mostly in
the renal arterioles and glomerular capillaries
are central lesions in the pathogenesis of HUS.
Proinflammatorv and prothrombotic events, as
well as changes in the coagulation system, along
with dysfunctional endothelial cells may result in
organ damage. Endothelial cell damage may be
caused bv lipopolvsaccharide (lPS) ori,inatin, from
E.Coli/Shigella. lPS in circulation will stimulate
monocvtes to release interleukin 1 (ll-1) and tumor
necrosis factor alpha (1Nl-A), which will activate
the coagulation cascade producing fibrin. Bacterial
toxin-stimulated dama,e causes endothelial cells
to release Von Willebrand lactor (vWl) and
react with thrombocvtes to increase a,,re,ation/
adhesion and accelerated-thrombofibrin formation
in arterioles and glomerular capillaries.
Thrombocytopenia is a primary manifestation in
HUS, possibly caused by peripheral destruction
of thrombocytes. Endothelial cell destruction is
followed by fibrin formation inside arterioles and
capillaries, causing narrowed lumen, decreased
OlR, oli,uria, azotemia, and disturbances in other
biochemical processes in the body.
arterioles and glomerular capillaries may also be
caused by increased endothelin levels in plasma.
Endothelin is produced by endothelial cells and
functions as a vasoconstrictor affecting blood
flow in kidnevs, OlR, and blood pressure (BP).
Fibrin, formed on endothelial cells inside the
microvascular kidney, destroys erythrocytes through
a microangiopathic process as they move across the
vessels. Hemolysis typically occurs suddenly, marked
bv a Hb level as low as 1 ,/dl. lxamination showed
increased reticulocytes, with usually negative
direct and indirect Coombs tests. By microscopic
immunofluorescence, fibrin, fibronectin, IgM and
on capillary walls, as well as mesangium and
subendothelial space can be observed.
The pathogenic links between viral infection and
concomitant renal dysfunction are often difficult to
establish. HUS caused by dengue fever infection is
rare, except in den,ue shock svndrome (DSS) which
induces acute tubular necrosis. Various signs of acute
tubular necrosis include l,O, l,M and/or C
and thickening of the glomerular basement mem-
brane. Acute renal failure and multiple organ failure
may also be a manifestation of rhabdomyolysis. The
role of immune complex in development of renal fail-
ure in dengue infection is still unclear. Wiwanitkit in
Gulati et al discovered the diameter of dengue virus–
immunoglobulin complex to be much smaller than
the diameter of the glomerulus. Thus he postulated
that the immune complex can be entrapped only if
a previous glomerular lesion caused narrowing of the
glomerular diameter. He concluded that the immune
complex did not play a significant role in pathogenesis
of renal failure in dengue infection.
Renal failure due to HUS was described in
an isolated case report where renal biopsy revealed
thrombotic microangiopathy with glomerular and
arteriolar microthrombi. Electron microscopy
demonstrated the presence of microtubuloreticular
structures, suggesting a viral infection. Acute renal
failure could be partly mediated by the tubular
damage, which in turn could be mediated by the
direct cvtopathic effect of viral proteins and cvtokine-
induced injurv.
Renal biopsy was not performed on
our patient.
ln our subject, we found hemolvtic anemia
with Hb 6.5 ,/dl (with schistocvtes and Burr cells),
thrombocvtopenia (platelet count reached 75,OOO/ML
and normal coa,ulation (P1, P11), but with increased
fibrinogen (including increased acute reactive protein
such as CRP), positive den,ue l,O and l,M, azotemia
(serum urea 171 m,/dl and serum creatinine 1.19
m,/dl), decreased OlR, proteinuria, ,ranular casts
in urine, and normal potassium. Hyperuricemia
was due to acute renal failure, dehydration, and cell
damage. Leukocytosis was present, but no bacteria
was cultured from the blood. Stool culture was also
Biopsv mav be used to establish an HUS dia,- iopsy may be used to establish an HUS diag-
nosis, however, we did not perform a renal biopsy.
Mervin T. Hadianto et al: Hemolytic uremic syndrome following dengue hemorrhagic fever
Paediatr Indones, Vol. 51, No. 6, November 2011 º 375
Peripheral smears for schistocvtes and thrombocv-
topenia are similarly important for HUS diagnosis.
The characteristic HUS pathologic findings are oc-
clusive lesions of the arterioles and small arteries, as
well as subsequent tissue microinfarctions.
A fully
developed vascular lesion consists of an amorphous-
appearin,, hvaline-like, thrombi-containin, platelet
aggregation and a small amount of fibrin that partially
or fully occludes the involved small vessels (see im-
a,es below).
Glomerular thrombotic microangiopathic lesions
and cortical necrosis are the most frequent histologic
findin,s in Stx-HUS, whereas arterial thrombotic
microangiopathic lesions are the most frequent
features in non - Stx-HUS.
HUS is a self-limitin, disease with spontaneous
recovery, although strict monitoring and treatment
of symptoms are important. Because HUS has
highly variable clinical symptoms, supportive therapy
(,ood nutrition, anti-hvpertensive dru,s, strict
monitorin, of fluid and electrolvtes) is important
for good outcomes. In our case, we gave supportive
therapy (fluid and electrolyte balance, uremic diet for
nutrition, PRBC transfusion for hemolvtic anemia,
and anti-hvpertensive dru,s with furosemide,
captopril and nifedipine).
ln a previous meta-analvsis, hi,her risk of HUS
was not associated with antibiotic administration.
Our patient was given amoxicillin and ceftriaxone.
Indications for hemodialysis are clinical and labo-
ratory in nature. Clinical indications include uremic
svndrome (vomitin,, seizure, unconciousness), fluid
overload (evidenced by cardiac failure, pulmonary
edema, and/or hvpertension), and metabolic acidosis
(Kussmaul). laboratorv indications include urea
> 2OO m,/dl, creatinine > 15 m,/dl, hvperkalemia
(K+ > 7), and HCÒ
< 12 meq/l. Hemodialvsis
may improve HUS prognosis.
Our patient did not
receive hemodialysis, since he did not meet the above
criteria, and his azotemia was improvin, with no
evidence of uremic syndrome. Based on available
literature, patient management without dialysis is
appropriate when the patient is passin, urine (non-
anuric), and the acid-base balance, serum electrolvte
concentrations and fluid balance can be managed
without dialysis.
One complication of HUS is hypertension due to
fluid overload or increased renin associated with renal
vascular disturbance.
Hypertension is defined as
avera,e svstolic and /or diastolic BP >95
for gender, age and height on > 3 occasions.
Hvpertensive crisis (BP > 5O' above the 95th
percentile for a,e, practical definition for children
> 6 vears old: BP svstole > 1oO mmH, or diastole
> 12O mmH, or anv sta,e of hvpertension with en-
cephalopathv, cardiac failure, or papilledema) is
different from hypertensive urgency and emergency.
Hypertensive urgency is defined as severe hyperten-
sion without evidence of end-or,an involvement.
Hypertensive emergency is defined as hypertension
associated with end-or,an dvsfunction (brain, heart,
eve, or kidnev).
Acute hypertension in our case may be
secondary to the HUS, with no target organ damage.
In addition, fundoscopy revealed no hemorrhages,
infarcts or papilledema.
Nifedipine, (a calcium channel blocker reduc-
ing peripheral vascular resistance but not affecting
cardiac output) was administered sublin,uallv to our
patient. The nifedipine dosage for his hypertensive
crisis was sublin,ual at O.1 m,/k,, increased bv O.1
m,/k, everv 5 minutes (for the first 3O minutes),
with a maximal dose of 1O m,/dose. 1he effect was
rapid -- within 1O minutes. 1he patient also showed
good response to IV furosemide. Furosemide dose
was 2 x 1 m,/k, lV before he was switched to oral
furosemide after improvement.
ACl inhibitors (captopril O.3-2 m,/k, everv
o-12 h) was ,iven to maintain blood pressure and to
reduce proteinuria.
Patients with D
HUS typically have frequent re-
lapses and a hi,her risk of pro,ression to end-sta,e
renal disease (lSRD),
but our patient’s prognosis
was good since he responded well to supportive
therapv (without hemodialvsis) and achieved normal
BP without prolon,ed use of anti-hvpertensive dru,s.
He had normal urea and creatinine, and no further
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