Introduction: To analyze the liver dysfunction and evolution of signs and symptoms in adult dengue patients during a two-month follow-up period.
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted in Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from January to July, 2008. The evolution of laboratory and clinical manifestations of 90 adult dengue patients was evaluated in five scheduled visits within a two-month follow-up period. Twenty controls were enrolled for the analysis of liver function. Patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, those known to be human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive and pregnant women were excluded from the study.
Results: At the end of the second month following diagnosis, we observed that symptoms persisted in 33.3% (30/90) of dengue patients. We also observed that, 57.7% (15/26) of the symptoms persisted at the end of the second month. The most persistent symptoms were arthralgia, fatigue, weakness, adynamia, anorexia, taste alteration, and hair loss. Prior dengue virus (DENV) infection did not predispose patients to a longer duration of symptoms. Among hepatic functions, transaminases had the most remarkable elevation and in some cases remained elevated up to the second month after the disease onset. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels overcame aspartate aminotransferase (AST) during the convalescent period. Male patients were more severely affected than females.
Conclusions: Dengue fever may present a wide number of symptoms and elevated liver transaminases at the end of the second month.