Fulminant falciparum malaria

W. M. Smit*, H. M. Oudemans-van Straaten, D. F. Zandstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A case of fulminant falciparum malaria with a 35% parasitaemia, shock and subcoma was treated successfully by using parenteral chemotherapy, exchange transfusion, dexamethasone, circulatory support and mechanical ventilation. Pathophysiology and complications of falciparum malaria are discussed. The treatment of severe malaria should aim for a fast reduction in parasitaemia and toxic products. An exchange transfusion can be additive to parenteral chemotherapy. Blocking the over-reacting cell-mediated immune response, aggressive shock treatment, prevention of secondary infections and maintaining normoglycaemia might reduce morbidity and mortality of fulminant falciparum malaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-519
Number of pages3
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1990

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