Increased Erythropoietin Production in Children with Severe Malarial Anemia

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  • Institute for Tropical Medicine, University of Tubingen, International Research Laboratory, Albert-Schweitzer-Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine I, University of Vienna, Institute for Tropical Medicine, Tubingen, Germany
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Plasma immunoreactive erythropoietin concentrations were determined in 84 children with Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Gabon. There was an inverse log/linear relationship between hemoglobin or hematocrit and plasma erythropoietin, indicating that erythropoietin levels increased exponentially as circulating hemoglobin decreased. These results show that P. falciparum malaria does not lead to decreased erythropoietin production, and in turn reduced erythropoietin production does not contribute to the pathogenesis of malarial anemia. There is an adequate response of erythropoietin to anemia in children with P. falciparum malaria.