Hematological profile of children with severe acute malnutrition: a tertiary care centre experience

Arun Kumar Arya, Pramod Kumar, Tanu Midha, Mahendra Singh


Background: Severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is associated with various pathophysiological changes in the body including hematological system. This study was done to understand the hematological profile of severely malnourished children.

Methods: This case control study was conducted in the Department of pediatrics, G.S.V.M. Medical College, Kanpur from January 2014 to December 2015. 200 children, aged 6 months- 5years admitted to our hospital with SAM were enrolled as cases. 200 children with normal nutritional status without haematological or infectious conditions attending routine clinic were selected as controls. The hematological parameters were analyzed using an automated blood Analyzer.

Results: 95% of the children with SAM had anemia, out of which 52% were severely anemic and 28% were moderately anemic. Mean value for hemoglobin was lower in test group (7.17±2.265gm/dl) as compared to control group (9.22±3.362gm/dl). Children with SAM had statistically significant lower mean values for red cell indices like RBC counts, MCV, MCH and MCHC compared to controls. The mean value of WBC in SAM children was 12.1±11.5×103, while it was 6.2± 7.8×103 in controls. The cases had higher mean value for neutrophils and lower mean value for lymphocytes.

Conclusions: Children with SAM had lower mean hemoglobin, hematocrit and red cell indices and higher mean value of total leukocyte and platelet counts. This study recommends that more frequent studies should be done to describe the trend of hematopoietic changes in children with SAM to enhance anticipatory care and outcome of the affected children.


Anemia, Hematological profile, Severe acute malnutrition

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