The aim was to determine the rate of varicella infection and complications in children with disorders of intermediary metabolism (IEM) between the ages of 1 and 16 years attending our national metabolic referral centre. Of 126 children identified, a response was received from 122. A history of previous varicella infection was identified in 64 cases (53%) and of varicella vaccination in 5 (4%). Fifty-three (43%) patients apparently did not have a history of clinical varicella infection. Of the 64 children with a history of varicella infection, five required hospitalisation for complications, including life-threatening lactic acidosis in one patient with mitochondrial disease and metabolic decompensation in four patients. In conclusion, varicella infection may cause an increased risk of metabolic decompensation in patients with IEMs. We propose that a trial of varicella vaccination be considered for this cohort of patients with monitoring of its safety and efficacy.
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer reviewed Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent Obtained.