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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 285-291

Cardiovascular involvement in severe vivax and falciparum malaria

Department of Medicine, S.P. Medical College & PBM Hospital, Bikaner, India

Correspondence Address:
Bal Kishan Gupta
“Prem Kutir”, Opp. DRM Office, Hospital Road, Bikaner–334 003, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 24499851

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Background & objectives: Recently, vivax malaria is also presenting as severe malaria causing multiorgan dysfunction similar to falciparum malaria. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the involvement of cardiovascular system in severe malaria. Methods: This is a clinical prospective study conducted on the cases of severe malaria in S.P. Medical College and PBM Hospital, Bikaner, India. In total, 100 cases (45 males, 55 females; age range 13-75 yr) of severe malaria (P. vivax 60; P. falciparum 28; and mixed 12) diagnosed by peripheral blood smear examination, rapid card test and PCR were studied. Evaluation of cardiovascular system was done by clinical examination, chest Xray, ECG, high resolution transthoracic echocardiography and estimation of cardiac markers. Results: In all, 17% cases (9 P. falciparum, 5 P. vivax and 3 mixed) were found to be suffering from cardiovascular involvement (11% circulatory failure, 7% congestive cardiac failure and 2% pulmonary edema). ECG showed sinus tachycardia in all the 17 patients, one had atrial ectopic and eight had non-specific ST-T changes. Cardiomegaly was seen in eight cases and pulmonary edema in two on X-ray chest. Echocardiography was within normal range but cardiac dimensions were increased in all the 17 cases. Troponin-I and CPK-MB were increased in 14 cases. Cardiovascular involvement in P. falciparum and mixed infection was associated with high parasite density but P. vivax infection was associated with relatively low parasite density. Involvement of cardiovascular system was associated with increased hospital stay (7.67 ± 2.23 vs 6.59 ± 0.87 days; p <0.001) and high mortality (5 died out of 17 patients). Significant ECG changes and cardiac markers indicate myocardial involvement in severe malaria. Interpretation & Conclusion: The present study indicates involvement of cardiovascular system in severe malaria as evidenced by changes in ECG and cardiac markers (Trop 1 and CPK-MB). The present study also highlights that vivax malaria is no more benign and pathophysiology of vivax malaria should be re-evaluated.

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