Relationship of thrombopoietin and interleukin-11 levels to thrombocytopenia associated with dengue disease

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Thrombocytopenia is one of the main clinical findings of dengue. In this work we examined the levels of thrombopoietin (TPO) and interleukin-11 (IL-11), two of the most potent regulators of platelet production, in serum from 28 patients with dengue fever (DF). Patients with DF had increased levels of TPO, compared with healthy individuals (p < 0.005). Patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF, n = 7), the more severe form of dengue, had higher TPO levels than patients with DF (p < 0.001). Serum TPO levels and platelet counts were inversely correlated in both DF and DHF patients. IL-11 was detectable in neither DF nor DHF patients. Our results demonstrate that thrombocytopenia in dengue disease is associated with changes in the serum levels of TPO, but not IL-11, suggesting that this cytokine could be a potential early clinical marker of the severity of dengue disease.

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