Saturday, January 10, 2015

Measles in critically ill adults---nothing measly about it

From a recent Medicine review:

France has recently witnessed a nationwide outbreak of measles...We performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort of 36 adults admitted to a total of 64 ICUs throughout France for complications of measles...
Among the 26 patients whose measles vaccination status was documented, none had received 2 injections. One patient had developed measles during childhood. Underlying comorbid conditions included chronic respiratory disease in 9 patients, immunosuppression in 7 patients, and obesity in 3 patients, while measles affected 5 pregnant women.
Respiratory complications induced by measles infection led to ICU admission in 32 cases, and measles-related neurologic complications led to ICU admission in 2 cases. Two patients were admitted due to concurrent respiratory and neurologic complications...
Measles is a disease with protean and potentially deceptive clinical manifestations, especially in the immunocompromised patient. Measles-associated pneumonitis and its complications, and less commonly postinfectious encephalomyelitis, are the main source of morbidity and mortality. In contrast with the usually benign course of the disease in immunocompetent patients, measles occurring in immunocompromised patients gives rise to lethal complications including ARDS, with or without bacterial superinfection. Other patients potentially at high risk for severe measles are young adults and pregnant women. Measles pneumonitis may predispose to air leak disease in patients using mechanical ventilation. To date, vaccination remains the most potent tool to control measles infection.

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