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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2007 Sep-Oct;40(5):533-6.

[Association of methemoglobinemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in malaria patients treated with primaquine].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Gerência de Malária, Fundação de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas, Avenida Pedro Teixeira 25, Bairro D. Pedro I, Manaus, AM.


This study had the aim of investigating occurrences of methemoglobinemia among individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency during treatment for malaria infection using primaquine. Patients with a diagnosis of malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax or the V+F mixture (Plasmodium vivax + Plasmodium falciparum) were selected. Group 1 consisted of 74 individuals with a clinical diagnosis of methemoglobinemia and Group 2 consisted of 161 individuals without a clinical diagnosis of methemoglobinemia. The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency rates (numbers of enzymopenic individuals) in Groups 1 and 2 were 51.3% (38) and 8.7% (14) respectively. These data demonstrated a statistically significant association with methemoglobinemia only among the individuals in Group 1 (p<0.05). Investigation of the relationship between methemoglobinemia and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency showed that there was a possible association such that enzymopenic individuals may develop methemoglobinemia more frequently.

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