Clinical and haematological parameters in malaria caused by different plasmodium species in children


  • Dipthi Nishal Castelino Department of Paediatrics, Father Muller Medical College and Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • K. Shreedhara Avabratha Department of Paediatrics, Father Muller Medical College and Hospital, Mangalore, Karnataka, India



Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Vivax, Clinical, Haematological changes, Children


Background: Malaria is a disease of global importance and affects more than ninety countries in both the tropical and subtropical regions. Clinical and haematological parameters vary with type of malaria, although data relating to different species of malaria in children is limited. This study aims to understand the clinical and haematological profile of malaria and to correlate these with different malarial species among children.

Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study involving 130 proven malaria cases done over 18 months from October 2014 to April 2016. A detailed history and clinical examination along with haematological parameters were analysed and correlated with different types of malaria.

Results: Among 130 children, 97 children were vivax positive, 4 were falciparum and 27 were mixed malaria. Fever was present in all, whilst other symptoms were chills and rigors (86.15%), vomiting (39.52%), headache (19%), pain abdomen (6.84%), myalgia (4.56%) and convulsions (1.52%). Clinical signs were pallor (29.64%), icterus (0.76%), splenomegaly (65.36%), hepatomegaly (23.56%) and hepatosplenomegaly (21.28%).75% of children with falciparum malaria had splenomegaly and pallor whereas hepatomegaly was observed in 34% of mixed malaria cases. Haematological parameters observed were anaemia (47.6%), severe anaemia (2%), leucocytosis (11.5%), leukopenia (39.2%), thrombocytopenia (87%) and severe thrombocytopenia (30%). Severe thrombocytopenia was seen with vivax malaria (70%). No mortality was noted in the studied population.

Conclusions:  Fever and splenomegaly are important clinical features, whereas anaemia and thrombocytopenia are the most noted haematological parameters in malaria. The parameters vary with different species of malaria knowledge of clinical and haematological parameters aid us in early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment and prevention of associated complications.


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