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Mortality in children with severe dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) in Indonesia is high. The origin of the elevated plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels in these children is unclear. We measured PAI-1, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), platelet counts, plasma leakage and liver function in 71 children with DHF (3–15 years old) and in 30 healthy children. We found that PAI-1 concentrations in children with DHF were significantly higher on admission than on Day 2. Circulating TGF-β1 concentrations on admission were significantly lower in DHF than in controls, but on Day 2 increased towards levels in controls. TGF-β1 and PAI-1 concentrations were not correlated on either day. PAI-1 was correlated with platelet count and serum albumin on admission, and with degree of pleural effusion. Liver function tests were mildly elevated but not correlated with PAI-1. In conclusion, elevated PAI-1 concentrations in DHF were associated with platelet counts and plasma leakage.