Short report: Prevalence and implications of cerebrospinal fluid leukocytosis in Papua New Guinean children hospitalized with severe malaria

Moses Laman, Laurens Manning, P.M. Siba, Timothy Davis

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    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leukocytosis in severe malaria was assessed in 87 children in Papua New Guinea participating in a detailed longitudinal observational study who had undergone lumbar puncture for further investigation of altered consciousness and/or convulsions. After rigorous exclusion of non-malarial infection, 16 (20.5%) of 78 children with Plasmodium falciparum monoinfection but 0 of 9 with P. vivax/mixed-species malaria had a detectable CSF leukocytosis, which was unrelated to prior, including complex, seizures. There were eight children with a CSF leukocyte density > 10 cells/μL (9.2% of the total sample), half of whom had cerebral malaria (4 of 22, 18.1%). Cerebrospinal fluid leukocytosis is infrequent in severe pediatric malaria, especially in children with P. vivax infections, and it is generally mild. Its presence in a blood slide-positive child should prompt consideration of alternative diagnoses and empiric antibiotic therapy. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)866-868
    JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
    Volume89
    Issue number5
    Early online date9 Sep 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013

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