Case Report: Rapid Recognition and Immune Modulation of Secondary HLH Due to Disseminated HSV Infection

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Abstract

We describe the case of a newborn who presented with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and hyperferritinemia, who eventually met criteria for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) due to disseminated herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). While the cytokine storm abated after administration of multiple immune modulatory therapies including dexamethasone, etoposide, intravenous immune globulin, anakinra, as well as the interferon gamma antagonist emapalumab, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome progressed. Care was withdrawn after 5 days. Subsequent genetic testing did not reveal any mutations associated with familial HLH. This case highlights that even with appropriate antiviral treatment and immune suppression, disseminated HSV is often fatal. Further study is warranted to determine whether early immune modulatory therapy including interferon gamma blockade can interrupt the HLH inflammatory cascade and prevent progression of MODS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number681055
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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