MononucleosisDRG Categoy 421

Mean LOS: 4.0 days Infectious Description: MEDICAL: Viral Illness, Age > 17

The term mononucleosis refers to the presence of an abnormally high number of mononuclear leukocytes (white blood cells) in the body. Infectious mononucleosis (IM) results from a viral syndrome that is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The virus is introduced into the host by close contact with another individual who is shedding EBV in the oropharynx. The virus replicates in epithelial cells of the pharynx and salivary glands. A localized inflammatory response produces the pharyngeal exudate. The virus is then carried via the lymphatics to the lymph nodes. Local and generalized lymphadenopathy (disease of the lymph nodes) develops.

Major complications are rare but may include splenic or liver rupture, aseptic meningitis or encephalitis, pericarditis, or hemolytic anemia. EBV has been linked to Burkitt's lymphoma, in Africa, and to nasopharyngeal carcinoma, particularly in Asians. Mononucleosis can also lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome.

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