oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Pertussis and the heart

Volume 24, Issue 9-Supplement
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Heart failure was diagnosed in 24 out of 184 children admitted to hospital with a clinical j:ncture of severe pertussis. In 22 of the children, heart failure occurred within three weeks of the onset of paroxysmal coughing. Clinically, the heart failure was predominantly right-sided, and in several cases the course of the illness suggested that cardiac changes persisted after all signs of complicating respiratory infection had cleared. It is suggested that in undernourished children with severe pertussis, cardiac involvement is not uncommon, and that such children should remain on digoxin until several months after clinical, radiological and ECG changes have returned to normal.

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