Report of a fatal case of dengue infection with hepatitis: demonstration of dengue antigens in hepatocytes and liver apoptosis

Hum Pathol. 1999 Sep;30(9):1106-10. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(99)90230-7.


A fatal case of dengue (DEN) infection associated with a spleen rupture and with hepatitis is reported here. Microscopic studies showed numerous areas of spleen rupture with hematomas and revealed necrotic foci in liver samples obtained at autopsy. Although hepatitis was reported in several cases of DEN fever, the mechanism of liver injury remains poorly understood. In this case, immunohistochemistry showed that DEN viral antigens were mostly detected in hepatocytes surrounding the necrotic foci. By in situ detection of DNA fragmentation, apoptotic hepatocytes were found to be colocated with DEN virus-infected hepatocytes. These findings suggest that hepatocytes are the major sites of DEN virus replication in the liver and that DEN virus induces apoptosis of hepatocytes in vivo.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, Viral / metabolism
  • Apoptosis*
  • Dengue / complications
  • Dengue / metabolism
  • Dengue / pathology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Hepatitis / complications
  • Hepatitis / metabolism
  • Hepatitis / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Monocytes / pathology
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Splenic Rupture / etiology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Viral