The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2003;9(3): 198-204.
Outbreak of Hepatitis by Orientia tsutsugamushi in the Early Years of the New Millenium
Jae Il Park, M.D., Sung Hee Han, M.D., Seung Chul Cho, M.D., Yong Hyeon Jo, M.D.,
Sang Mo Hong, M.D., Hak Hyun Lee, M.D., Hye Ryeon Yun, M.D., Sun Young Yang, M.D.,
Jai Hoon Yoon, M.D., Yeong Seop Yun, M.D., Ji Yong Moon, M.D., Kyung Ran Cho, M.D.,
Sang Hyun Baik, M.D., Joo Hyun Son, M.D., Tae Wha Kim, M.D. and Dong Hoo Lee, M.D.
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine,
Hanyang University Institute of Digestive Diseases, Seoul, Korea
Background/Aims: Orientia -tsutsugamushi infection is an acute febrile disease due to the accidental transmission through human skin of forest dwelling vector Leptotrombidium larva. The authors observed liver dysfunctions in patients diagnosed with tsutsugamushi disease (Scrub typhus) in the past 3 years and report the data in the hope of bringing attention to this disease in the differential diagnosis of autumn-season hepatitis, especially of non-A, non-B and non-C hepatitis. Methods: Medical records of 22 patients diagnosed with tsutsugamushi disease by the hemagglutinin method between October 2000 and November 2002 were reviewed. Results: Female gender was dominant in the ratio of 3.4:1. Mean age was 56.4±2.6. Admission was between 23rd September and 15th November with the peak between mid October and early November. Fever, being the most common symptom, was observed in 21 cases, myalgia in 13, arthralgia in 12, chills in 6, and skin rash in 6. An incubation period of 7-9 days was most common (10 cases), 13-15 days (4), 10-12 days (3), within 3 days (3), and 4-6 days (2). Average ALT, AST and GGTP were increased to 93.2±17.3 IU/L (18±345 IU/L), 92.5±11.7 IU/L (34-255 IU/L) and 132.2±14.5 IU/L (19-251 IU/L), respectively, but total bilirubin was normal. All the patients improved with doxycycline therapy. Conclusions: Since it usually shows liver dysfunction, it is important to take Orientia tsutsugamushi into consideration in differential diagnosis of autumn-season, febrile hepatic disease.(Korean J Hepatol 2003;9: 198-204)
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