March 1962

Attenuated Measles Vaccine in Children with Cardiac Disease

Author Affiliations

Edward C. Curnen, M.D., Director of Pediatric Service, The Presbyterian Hospital, New York.; Babies Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center; Department of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and the Section of General Virology, Division of Biologics Standards, National Institutes of Health.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):410-412. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020422050

Naturally acquired measles appears to be especially hazardous to patients with chronic ailments. The increased risk of measles to cardiac patients might be attributable either to a deleterious action of measles virus directly on the myocardium or to an increased demand for work imposed upon a defective cardiovascular system during the acute disease.

Evidence of myocarditis has been well documented in association with some viral diseases 1, but not frequently with measles. On the other hand, studies of electrocardiographic records of children hospitalized for measles have revealed transitory abnormalities in approximately one-fifth to onefourth of the cases studied, thus suggesting more frequent cardiac involvement than would otherwise be suspected.2,3 At present, the extent to which measles causes heart failure or influences the rate of survival in cardiac patients is not known precisely. From clinical experience, however, measles can be assumed to impose an additional risk to be avoided if

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