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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Mar;88(3):542-6. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0538. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

MRI findings in a cohort of brain injured survivors of pediatric cerebral malaria.

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  • 1Blantyre Malaria Project, Blantyre, Malawi. s.kampo154@gmail.com


Abstract. A prospective cohort study of retinopathy-confirmed cerebral malaria (CM) survivors identified 42 of 132 with neurologic sequelae. The 38 survivors with sequelae who were alive when magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology became available underwent brain MRIs. Common MRI abnormalities included periventricular T2 signal changes (53%), atrophy (47%), subcortical T2 signal changes (18%), and focal cortical defects (16%). The χ(2) tests assessed the relationship between chronic MRI findings, acute clinical and demographic data, and outcomes. Children who were older at the time of CM infection (P = 0.01) and those with isolated behavioral problems (P = 0.02) were more likely to have a normal MRI. Acute focal seizures were associated with atrophy (P = 0.05). Acute papilledema was associated with subcortical T2 signal changes (P = 0.02). Peripheral retinal whitening (P = 0.007) and a higher admission white blood cell count (P = 0.02) were associated with periventricular T2 signal changes. Chronic MRI findings suggest seizures, increased intracranial pressure, and microvascular ischemia contribute to clinically relevant structural brain injury in CM.

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