Although varicella is a common disease of childhood, renal complications are quite rare. We report here the interesting case of a-22 month-old boy exhibiting renal cortical necrosis related to an acquired protein S deficiency following varicella. Ten days after the vesicle eruption appearance, he presented with ecchymosed heels, oligoanuric kidney failure, anemia [hemoglobin (Hb) 78 g/L], schizocytosis (2.5%), but normal platelet count. Kidney sonography and magnetic resonance imaging evoked renal cortical necrosis. All together, these features suggested acquired protein S deficiency secondary to varicella. Strikingly, it was confirmed by a dramatic decrease in protein S plasma activity and a huge increase in immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies against protein S in the plasma. Anticoagulation therapy in addition with plasmapheresis and steroid pulses allowed a dramatic decrease in the antibodies against protein S and recovery of normal protein S activity. Undelayed diagnosis and treatment did not avoid kidney insufficiency but prevented life-threatening complications. In the light of this case report, protein S deficiency due to antibody inhibition should be carefully monitored anytime in the context of varicella when kidney insufficiency or necrosis occurs.
Acute renal failureAntiprotein S antibodyPlasma exchangeProtein S deficiencyVaricella