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Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) is a potentially lethal complication of dengue virus infection associated with hypotension and leakage of plasma water into the extravascular space. To determine whether the underlying pathophysiology of DSS is distinct from that in milder forms of the disease, we assessed microvascular permeability, by use of strain gauge plethysmography, in Vietnamese children with DSS (n=19), or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) without shock (n=16), and in healthy control children (n=15). At admission and after fluid resuscitation, the mean coefficient of microvascular permeability (K(f)) for the patients with dengue was approximately 50% higher than that for the control patients (P=.02). There was no significant difference in K(f) between the 2 groups of patients with dengue; this suggests the same underlying pathophysiology. We hypothesize that in patients with DSS, the fluctuations in K(f) are larger than those in patients with DHF, which leads to short-lived peaks of markedly increased microvascular permeability and consequent hemodynamic shock.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





243 - 253


Adolescent, Capillaries, Capillary Permeability, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Fluid Therapy, Humans, Male, Microcirculation, Plethysmography, Resuscitation, Severe Dengue