A rare complication of infection with the Epstein-Barr virus is the development of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Although most cases of Epstein-Barr virus-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis develop in immunocompetent individuals, the rare immunodeficiency X-linked lymphoproliferative disease is often unmasked by Epstein-Barr virus infection and is clinically indistinguishable from Epstein-Barr virus-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. We describe the clinical course and management of a previously healthy 17-year-old boy who presented with hemodynamic collapse and severe systemic inflammatory response syndrome resulting from overwhelming hemophagocytosis in the setting of X-linked lymphoproliferative disease. A novel therapeutic approach using anti-tumor necrosis factor α therapy was instituted, aimed at attenuating the viral-induced hyperinflammatory state. Given the similarity to overwhelming sepsis, yet a substantially different therapeutic approach, this case illustrates the importance of early recognition and prompt treatment that are necessary to reduce the high morbidity and mortality associated with Epstein-Barr virus-induced hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and X-linked lymphoproliferative disease.
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Systemic inflammatory response syndrome
- X-linked lymphoproliferative disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health