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Experiences with Chickenpox in Patients with Hematologic Disease Receiving Cortisone

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;94(3):219-223. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.04030040001001.
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Introduction  The enhancement of bacterial mycotic and viral proliferation by cortisone has been well established in clinical and experimental studies.1-13 It is the purpose of this communication to present my experience when varicella was encountered in children with hematologic disorders while they were receiving cortisone or cortisone-like substances.14 Three cases were studied, two with a basic diagnosis of leukemia and one with aplastic anemia. Of these three, two died during the acute illness.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—A 3-year-old boy was diagnosed as having acute lymphocytic leukemia on Oct. 10, 1955. On Nov. 8, 1955, a diagnosis of florid chickenpox was made. At that time he was receiving 20 mg. of prednisone per day in divided doses (equivalent to 100 mg. cortisone) and amethopterin (4-amino-N10-methyl-pteroylglutamic acid). Blood studies at the time the chickenpox was diagnosed revealed Hb., 10.2 gm.; WBC, 14,000, with 92% lymphocytes; platelets, 24,000.


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