Effect of Plasmodium falciparum infection on blood parameters and their association with clinical severity in adults of Odisha, India.

01 Feb 2019
Dhangadamajhi G, Panigrahi S, Roy S, Tripathy S

The extent of abnormalities in blood indices and their subsequent effects on clinical severity in malaria differ among populations of different endemicity. However, these alterations have not been well investigated in Odisha, India and their prognostic implications in the context of multi-organ dysfunction (MODS) in severe malaria (SM) are not identified so far. The present study was carried out in 200 adult patients each from uncomplicated malaria and severe malaria groups to examine whether host haematological and biochemical parameters in Plasmodium falciparum infection can act as diagnostic marker for SM in adults patients of Odisha. The results showed thrombocytopenia as a potential risk factor for SM irrespective of disease features with least median platelet counts observed in patients with MODS (Platelet count: 144.5, P = < 0.0001) compared to mild malaria. Logistic regression analysis identified anemia (<10 mg/dl) as independent predictor of MODS (OR = 12.78, 95% CI = 4.93-33.2). The prognostic utility of thrombocytopenia (platelet count: ≤100,000/μl) as marker of MODS was largely modulated by hemoglobin and blood glucose level. Co-existence of hypoglycemia and thrombocytopenia was also observed. Our study revealed changes in blood indices such as low platelet, hemoglobin and blood glucose during falciparum infection in adults can be used as diagnostic criteria for predicting SM in combinations. The study also provides important clue for plausible hypoglycemia mediated platelet necrosis and clearance. Further studies in different endemic regions need to be conducted for validation of these findings and their implication as criteria for diagnosing SM in adults.