Elevated plasma or serum levels of thrombomodulin (TM), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin have been reported in several diseases. However, plasma or serum levels of TM, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin have not been investigated in the acute phase of Plasmodium vivax malaria. Serum TM, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, and creatinine levels were determined in six Japanese patients in the acute phase of vivax malaria and in seven healthy Japanese controls. Parasitemias of the peripheral blood were < 0.1% in five patients and 0.8% in one patient. The patients' mean +/- SD serum levels of TM, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin were 5.7 +/- 1.3 Fujirebio units/ml, 709 +/- 397 ng/ml, 2,112 +/- 782 ng/ml, and 99 +/- 28 ng/ml, respectively, and all were significantly greater than those in the controls (TM; P < 0.005, ICAM-1; P < 0.025, VCAM-1; P < 0.005, E-selectin; P < 0.025). However, no significant difference was identified between patients and controls for serum creatinine values. The serum levels of TM and VCAM-1 were not related to parasitemia. The elevation of serum TM levels suggests that endothelial cell damage occurs in the acute phase of vivax malaria.