The Platelet Count in Cerebral Malaria, Is It Useful to the Clinician?

Yamikani Chimalizeni Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi; Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

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Kondwani Kawaza Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi; Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

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Terrie Taylor Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi; Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

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Malcolm Molyneux Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi; Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi; Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi

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We conducted this study to determine the prognostic significance of the platelet count in children with cerebral malaria. We studied children with cerebral malaria admitted to the pediatric research ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi. We analyzed 1,811 children with cerebral malaria and compared them with 521 children with bacterial meningitis. There was a significant difference in platelet counts between children with cerebral malaria and those with meningitis. Among children with cerebral malaria, there was no relationship between the platelet count and either the admission coma score or the eventual outcome. Those with malarial retinopathy were more thrombocytopenic than those without. Our results suggest that the platelet count is not prognostic in Malawian children with cerebral malaria.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Yamikani Chimalizeni, Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Private bag 360, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi. E-mail: gaveta3@yahoo.com

Authors' addresses: Yamikani Chimalizeni and Kondwani Kawaza, Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi. Terrie Taylor, Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi. Malcolm Molyneux, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Blantyre, Malawi, E-mail: mmolyneux999@googlemail.com.

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