Severe falciparum malaria in Gabonese children: clinical and laboratory features.

Dzeing-Ella, A; Nze Obiang, PC; Tchoua, R; Planche, T; Mboza, B; Mbounja, M; Muller-Roemer, U; Jarvis, J; Kendjo, E; Ngou-Milama, E; Kremsner, PG; Krishna, S; Kombila, M; (2005) Severe falciparum malaria in Gabonese children: clinical and laboratory features. Malar J, 4. p. 1. ISSN 1475-2875 DOI:

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BACKGROUND Malaria continues to claim one to two million lives a year, mainly those of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Reduction in mortality depends, in part, on improving the quality of hospital care, the training of healthcare workers and improvements in public health. This study examined the prognostic indicators of severe falciparum malaria in Gabonese children. METHODS An observational study examining the clinical presentations and laboratory features of severe malaria was conducted at the Centre Hospitalier de Libreville, Gabon over two years. Febrile children aged from 0 to 10 years with Plasmodium falciparum infection and one or more features of severe malaria were enrolled. RESULTS Most children presenting with severe falciparum malaria were less than 5 years (92.3% of 583 cases). Anaemia was the most frequent feature of severe malaria (67.8% of cases), followed by respiratory distress (31%), cerebral malaria (24%) hyperlactataemia (16%) and then hypoglycaemia (10%). Anaemia was more common in children under 18 months old, while cerebral malaria usually occurred in those over 18 months. The overall case fatality rate was 9%. The prognostic indicators with the highest case fatality rates were coma/seizures, hyperlactataemia and hypoglycaemia, and the highest case fatality rate was in children with all three of these features. CONCLUSIONS Prompt and appropriate, classification and treatment of malaria helps identify the most severely ill children and aids early and appropriate management of the severely ill child.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 15638948
Web of Science ID: 226994100001


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