International Journal of Research and Review

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Original Research Article

Year: 2016 | Month: February | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 8-10

Thrombocytopenia: Frequency and Degree in Patients with Malaria

SumitGiri1, Karandeep Singh2

1Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Saraswathi Institute of Medical Sciences, Hapur, U.P., India,
2Professor, Dept. of Pathology, Maharaja Agrasen Medical College, Agroha, Hisar, Haryana, India.

Corresponding Author: SumitGiri


Background and Aims: Malaria is an endemic disease in tropics and subtropics which is caused by protozoa of the genus plasmodium. Thrombocytopenia is a common finding in malaria. This study was undertaken to correlate the presence and severity of thrombocytopenia with the type of malaria.
Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study of medical records of 138 patients with confirmed diagnosis of malaria by Quantitative buffy coat (QBC) technique. Patients were divided into three categories based on platelet count. Thrombocytopenia was considered marked if platelet count was <50,000 cells/cu.mm, moderate if 50,000-99,999 cells/cu.mm, and mild if 100,000-149,999 cells/cu.mm.
Results: In the present study malaria positive patients were investigated for platelet count. Out of 138 positive cases 107 (77.54%) patients were males and 31 (22.46%) patients were females. Majority of the patients (81) were between 33- 39 years. Sixty six (47.83%) patients had mixed malaria and 62 (44.92%) were positive for plasmodium vivax. Isolated P. falciparum was detected in only 10 (7.25%).Out of these 66 cases detected with mixed malaria infection, 15 cases (22.73%) had mild, 22 cases (33.33 %) had moderate and 16 cases (24.24%) had severe degree of thrombocytopenia. Out of the 62 patients detected with vivax malaria 21cases (33.87%) had mild, 16 cases (25.81%) had moderate and 6 cases (9.68%) had severe degree of thrombocytopenia. Out of 10 cases (7.25%) of falciparum infection, 3 cases (30%) had mild and 5 cases (50%) had moderate degree of thrombocytopenia.
Conclusion: Although absence of thrombocytopenia is uncommon in malaria, its presence is not a distinguishing feature between the two types. The above findings can have therapeutic implications in context of avoiding unnecessary platelet infusions with the relatively more benign course in P. vivax malaria. We propose that the platelet count can serve as an important initial screening tool in this setting.

Key words: Thrombocytopenia, malaria, plasmodium vivax, plasmodium falciparum.

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