A 5-year-old girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in remission suffered from fatal visceral varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection after the oral administration of a high-dose dexamethasone. She abruptly developed fulminant hepatitis and disseminated intravascular coagulation, and died 3 days later. VZV DNA and antigens were detected in the peripheral blood (6 × 108 copies/mL) and a postmortem liver specimen, respectively. The exposure to VZV was not confirmed and no skin lesions were observed. VZV infection should be considered in patients with unexplained liver dysfunction under severe immunosuppressive condition, even in the absence of viral exposure and skin involvement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health