I was most interested to read the article on the significance of retinal hemorrhage in cerebral malaria by Looareesuwan et al. The writers seem unaware of a paper which we recently wrote on this subject. We noticed that retinopathy was often seen in patients admitted to the adult medical ward of Goroka Base Hospital in Papua New Guinea. In 1979 we performed a prospective study to document the incidence and significance of this finding.
Fifty consecutive patients with a sole diagnosis of malaria were examined. Fourteen of them (28%) had retinopathy. There was a strong correlation between the presence of severe anemia and retinopathy. Patients with retinopathy had a mean hemoglobin of 7.6 g/100 ml while those without retinopathy had a mean hemoglobin of 11.2 g/100 ml (P < 0.001). There was no correlation of retinopathy with other laboratory data.
We did not find a correlation between severity of illness and retinopathy.