Viral myocarditis is a well-recognised complication of many viruses leading to subsequent cardiomyopathies (dilated type). There are limited data available with respect to dengue virus involvement, an infection which can be asymptomatic and can lead to undifferentiated viral fever syndrome, dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic syndrome or dengue shock syndrome. Dengue has probably been endemic in Sri Lanka for a long time although no cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever was reported until 1965. Now, several hundred cases a year have been reported annually from 1991.
The only two published articles from Sri Lanka on myocardial involvement described cardiac sequelae, diagnosed quite late, retrospectively, in the non-active phase of the illness. Recent epidemics of the disease in Sri Lanka led us to design a study to look at myocardial involvement in clinically and serologically confirmed cases of dengue infection.
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