, Volume 162, Issue 11, pp 799-800
Date: 22 Aug 2003

Influenza A virus-associated encephalopathy with haemophagocytic syndrome

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Acute encephalopathy is one of the most serious complications of influenza virus infection [6]. Although a precise pathogenesis of this disease remains obscure, some studies showed that pro-inflammatory cytokines and soluble cytokine receptors were elevated in influenza encephalopathy, which might contribute to the development of the disease [1].

Virus-associated haemophagocytic syndrome (virus-associated HPS) is a reactive disorder of the mononuclear phagocytic system, characterised by non-malignant, generalised histiocytic proliferation with marked haemophagocytosis, and is caused by hypercytokinaemia resulting from viral infections [4]. While various pathogens can induce HPS, influenza virus-associated HPS has been rarely reported [3,5]. We describe here a case of human influenza A virus (H3N2)-associated encephalopathy with HPS.

A previously healthy, 2-year-old boy was brought into the emergency department of our hospital with convulsions and consciousness disturbance. He had a 1-day