Indexed on: 08 Oct '20Published on: 08 Oct '20Published in: IDCases
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is also known as hemophagocytic syndrome. It is a lethal hematologic condition due to a dysregulated immune response which results in inappropriately activated macrophages damaging host tissues. Based on the etiology, HLH can be primary (genetic) or secondary (acquired). The most common cause of a secondary HLH is an infection. Viral infections are the most common cause of secondary HLH. Among the viral causes of secondary HLH, Epstein-Barr virus is the most common etiologic agent. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common causative pathogen in the immunocompromised host but is rare in an immunocompetent adult. In infection- associated secondary HLH, treatment includes antimicrobial therapy. HLH carries a high mortality and morbidity rate as it is an underdiagnosed clinical condition. Successful early diagnosis allows for adequate time for curative therapy. Treatment for HLH includes chemotherapy, immunomodulators, and a hematopoietic stem-cell transplant. The 2004 diagnostic criteria set by the Histiocyte Society serves as a guide to make an earlier clinical diagnosis. A review of PubMed literature revealed only five reported cases of CMV-induced HLH. We describe the sixth case of CMV pneumonitis-induced HLH and syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion in a 72-year-old White male. He was treated successfully with oral valganciclovir and corticosteroids. © 2020 The Authors.