CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[DRESS complicated by hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in an infant treated for congenital toxoplasmosis].

BACKGROUND: Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) is a severe disease that may be complicated by hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis but this is rarely described in children.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We report the case of a 5-week old infant hospitalized in a pediatric intensive care unit for hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis with prolonged fever, splenomegaly, cytopenia, fibrinogen≤1.5g/L, ferritin≥500μg/L, and soluble IL-2 receptor≥2400U/mL. As a result of the presence of a diffuse skin rash, eosinophilia and multiple organ failure that started three weeks after the initiation of a congenital toxoplasmosis treatment, association with DRESS was suggested.

DISCUSSION: Exposure to sulfadiazine remains the main factor leading to DRESS in this case. This is probably the trigger event, secondarily complicated by hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, although in our case the diagnosis was made subsequently. The unfortunately poor outcome of this association is probably exacerbated in fragile patients such as young infants.

CONCLUSION: Clinicians should be aware of the possibility of DRESS of every early onset associated with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis linked to a treatment started during the neonatal period to avoid any delay in care that might adversely affect the prognosis.

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