UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Measles complications in hospitalized patients

Keywords: Measles, outbreak, complications (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/19/2019 by Jenny Guyther, MD (Updated: 6/25/2019)
Click here to contact Jenny Guyther, MD

Measles outbreaks have been reported all over the globe, with the incidence increasing due to low immunization rates.  Italy experienced 5000 cases in 2017. This study was a retrospective multicenter observational study of children less than 18 years hospitalized for clinically and laboratory confirmed measles over a year and a half period from 2016-2017.

There were 263 cases of measles that required hospitalization during this time and 82% developed a complication with 7% having a severe clinical outcome defined by a permanent organ damage need for ICU care or death. A CRP value of greater than 2 mg/dL was associated with a 2-4 fold increased risk of developing complications. 23% developed pneumonia and 9.6% developed respiratory failure.  Hematologic involvement was seen in 48% of patients.  1.2% of hospitalized patients died.

Bottom line: Consider CRP, lipase and CBC at a minimum in your patients with suspected measles who require hospitalization.

References

Lo Vecchio A, Krzysztofiak A, Montagnani C, et al.  Complications and risk factors for severe outcome in children with measles.  Archives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 12 January 2019.