What Can We Learn from the Retina in Severe Malaria?
Plasmodium falciparum malaria can cause death through a variety of complications, an important one of these being cerebral malaria (CM). In areas where P. falciparum transmission is intense, deaths from CM tend to occur in children under the age of 8 years – older people being protected by partial immunity. In an endemic area, asymptomatic P. falciparum parasitaemia is common. Therefore, among individuals with any clinical syndrome, a considerable proportion may have parasitaemia that is incidental and not causally related to the illness (Koram and Molyneux, 2007). This frequently leads to diagnostic difficulty. Children presenting with encephalopathy (altered consciousness with or without convulsions), who are parasitaemic may be suffering from cerebral malaria or may have another cause of encephalopathy (e.g. viral or metabolic) with incidental parasitaemia.
KeywordsBacterial Meningitis Severe Malaria Cerebral Malaria Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria Indirect Ophthalmoscopy
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