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Complications

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Possible complications of mumps include:

  • meningo-encephalitis - most frequent complication of infection in children.
    • symptomatic viral meningeal irritation occurs in about 15% of cases of mumps infection
    • may precede or follow parotitis or may even occur without salivary gland enlargement (1)
    • encephalitis is much less common, occuring about once in a thousand patients (2,3)
  • bilateral or unilateral sensorineural deafness occurs with frequency varying from one in 3400 cases to one in 20,000 (1)
  • orchitis - in up to 25% of adult male patients (1), unilaterally in 80% of these; the predominance of unilateral orchitis means that infertility is relatively rare but 13% of patients with bilateral disease may have hypofertility (2)
  • oophoritis - occurs in about 5% of female patients (1)
  • pancreatitis - this is a rare complication of childhood infection. It may be seen in up to 7% of infections (1)
  • other possible complications include (1) (2):
    • episcleritis
    • uveitis
    • optic neuritis
    • arthritis
    • nephritis
    • thyroiditis
    • myocarditis
    • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
    • increased risk of a miscarriage in the 1st 12 weeks of pregnancy (1)

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