Author(s): Soumar M, Seydi M, Ndour CT, Diack KC, Diop BM,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: This prospective study had for aim to determine the frequency and characteristics of cardiovascular events in the course of tetanus. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From September to December 2002, we studied all patients over 4 years of age presenting with tetanus without any documented underlying disease. RESULTS: Thirty cases were included (mean age 36+/-20 years; sex-ratio 2.3). Seventy-three per cent had a mild-gravity tetanus (stage II of Mollaret) upon admission. One hundred and seventeen ECG were recorded and 93.3\% of the patients had more than one abnormality: arrhythmia (24 cases), prolonged QT interval (23 cases), ventricular hypertrophia (17 cases), and atrial hypertrophia (4 cases) especially left (3 cases), failure of AV conduction (3 cases), ST segment depression (3 cases), left and right axis deviation (3 cases), baseline undulation (3 cases) and repolarization disturbances (1 case). All patients had a normal Doppler echocardiographic examination. The mean hospitalization stay was 11.6+/-1.4 days and complications were noted in 60\%; sinus tachycardia in apyrexia (5 cases), instable BP (5 cases), excessive sweatiness in apyrexia (1 case), and access of bradycardia with sudden cardiac arrest (2 cases). 8 patients died (26.7\%). Six patients with cardiac autonomic dysfunction died, the case fatality rate being statistically higher in this group (P=0.007). A prolonged QT interval, sinus tachycardia and left ventricular hypertrophia were statistically more frequent at the acute phase of the illness. CONCLUSION: The case fatality rate of tetanus is still high, due among others to autonomic dysfunctions.
This article was published in Med Mal Infect
and referenced in Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health