Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 237-239

Hemorrhagic Pericarditis in a child with primary varicella infection (chickenpox)

Department of Neuropathology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
S K Shankar
Department of Neuropathology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.48930

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Chickenpox (Varicella) representing the primary infection by Varicella zoster virus is a common benign and self-limited infectious disease of childhood. Although the disease can be associated with complications, they are generally mild and tend to occur in adults and immunocompromised children. Severe and life-threatening complications are extremely rare, particularly those involving the cardiovascular system. We report a malnourished 5-year-old girl with chicken pox complicated by hemorrhagic pericarditis and deep vein thrombosis leading to fatal pulmonary thromboembolism. Though varicella infection runs a benign self-limiting course, it continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality when associated with complications, particularly in malnourished children. Hence, the importance of vaccination and early recognition of complications is emphasized.

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