Clinical progress and risk factors for death in severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome patients

J Infect Dis. 2012 Oct 1;206(7):1095-102. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis472. Epub 2012 Jul 30.


Background: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease caused by the SFTS virus (SFTSV) with an average fatality rate of 12%. The clinical factors for death in SFTS patients remain unclear.

Methods: Clinical features and laboratory parameters were dynamically collected for 11 fatal and 48 non-fatal SFTS cases. Univariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the risk factors associated with death.

Results: Dynamic tracking of laboratory parameters revealed that during the initial fever stage, the viral load was comparable for the patients who survived as well as the ones that died. Then in the second stage when multi-organ dysfunction occurred, from 7-13 days after disease onset, the viral load decreased in survivors but it remained high in the patients that died. The key risk factors that contributed to patient death were elevated serum aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and creatine kinase fraction, as well as the appearance of CNS (central nervous system) symptoms, hemorrhagic manifestation, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and multi-organ failure. All clinical markers reverted to normal in the convalescent stage for SFTS patients who survived.

Conclusions: We identified a period of 7-13 days after the onset of illness as the critical stage in SFTS progression. A sustained serum viral load may indicate that disease conditions will worsen and lead to death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Bunyaviridae Infections / blood
  • Bunyaviridae Infections / mortality*
  • Bunyaviridae Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Phlebovirus / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Viral Load


  • Biomarkers