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ARTICLE
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-13

Effect of acute uncomplicated malaria on platelet counts


Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, P. M. B. 12003, Lagos, and Malaria Unit, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M O Kehinde
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, P. M. B. 12003, Lagos, and Malaria Unit, Yaba, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of uncomplicated malaria on platelet count. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adult Nigerians (residing in the Lagos metropolis) who were diagnosed as having uncomplicated malaria were treated with a standard regime of chloroquine. Platelet counts were obtained before treatment, Day 0, and again on day 14 when parasitaemia had been cleared in the patients. There were 40 (21 males, 19 females) patients enrolled for the study. Their ages ranged from 15 years to 56 years with a mean +/- SEM of 27. 4 +/- 1.8 years. 28 (14 males, 14 females) patients had both day 0 and 14 platelet counts. RESULTS: The malaria parasite counts ranged from 1020 /mm(3) to 72,000 /mm(3) at day 0 with a mean +/-SEM of 15,638.0 +/- 3,727.0/mm(3) and zero on day 14. The mean platelet count on day 0 was 137.0 +/- 58.4x 10(9)/L while the day 14 mean platelet count was 234.0 +/- 96.9 x 10(9)/L. Comparison of mean platelet counts on day 0 with those on day 14 showed a highly statistically significant difference (p < 0.001). The degree of malaria parasitaemia was not significantly related to the level of platelet count. Transient thrombocytopenia is very common in uncomplicated malaria in semi -immune adults. The mechanism, aetiology, and clinical relevance of the phenomenon deserve further studies.


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