A detailed clinicopathologic analysis of 30 patients with sporadic fatal infectious mononucleosis and 31 males with fatal infectious mononucleosis and the X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome was performed to determine the extent of hepatic dysfunction in these cases. At death, the median age of patients with sporadic infectious mononucleosis was 10.7 yr vs. 2.4 yr for X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome. The median survival time was 8 wk for sporadic infectious mononucleosis and only 4 wk for X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome. The male to female ratio was 3:2 in sporadic infectious mononucleosis; all patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome were males. Fever, sore throat, lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, and splenomegaly were prominent findings. Hepatic dysfunction was uniformly present and caused death in 13 of 30 sporadic infectious mononucleosis cases and 18 of 31 X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome cases. Diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis was confirmed by heterophile antibody titers or Monospot, Epstein-Barr virus antibody studies, viral culture, molecular hybridization studies, clinical and histologic findings, and pedigree analysis.
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