Background: To explore the relationship between enteroviruses and hospitalized children with hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) complicated with nervous system disease. 234 hospitalized HFMD patients treated in Shengjing Hospital, Liaoning Province were analyzed retrospectively. Based on the presence and severity of nervous system disease, the patients were grouped as follows: general patients, severely ill patients, critically ill patients and fatal patients. Based on the detected pathogen, the patients were grouped as follows: Enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection, coxsackie A16 (CA16) infection and other enterovirus (OE) infection.
Results: Of the 423 hospitalized patients, most were admitted in July 2010(129/423, 30.5%). Enteroviruses were detected in 177(41.8%). 272/423 patients were male (64.3%), and fatal patients had the greatest proportion of male patients (p < 0.05). EV71 infection was found in 89/423 patients (21%). CA16 infection was detected in 8/423 patients (16.1%). Compared to group CA16, patients in group EV71 were hospitalized earlier, and the duration of hospitalization was longer (p < 0.05). Of the 92 patients with nervous system damage, 65 were infected with EV71 and 19 were infected with CA16. Among these CA16 infected patients, 2 had brainstem encephalitis and 1 had AFP. There were more patients with nervous system dysfunction in group EV71 than in groups CA16 or OE (p < 0.05). The 5 fatalities all occurred in group EV71 patients (p < 0.05). Infection with EV71 was most likely to cause neurogenic pulmonary edema (p < 0.05). Patients in group EV71 had a higher rate of suffering from coma and limb movement disorder than patients in groups CA16 or OE (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The disease progresses faster in EV71-infected HFMD patients. These patients are more likely to suffer nervous system damage, neurogenic pulmonary edema, severe sequelae or death. CA16 and other enteroviruses can also cause HFMD with severe nervous system complications.