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Arch Pediatr. 2012 Jan;19(1):34-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2011.10.007. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

[Acute renal failure and Plasmodium falciparum malaria: a case report].

[Article in French]

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Département de pédiatrie, CHU Sourô SANOU, Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.


Malaria is an endemic disease caused by one of the several Plasmodium species. Severe malaria is mainly due to Plasmodium falciparum in highly endemic areas. Acute renal failure (ARF) is a criterion of malaria severity as defined by WHO. Often observed in adults, particularly in India and Southeast Asia, this complication remains a rare complication of malaria in children. We report a case of oliguric ARF that occurred in a 7-year-old girl a few days after the onset of fever. The vascular obstruction by parasitized erythrocytes often causing tubular necrosis is the primary mechanism of renal failure. As a possible diagnosis, hemolytic uremic syndrome, renal failure and quartan hemoglobinuric nephropathy are other possible causes of renal failure in malaria. Renal biopsy, which was not performed in our patient, would have been a great help, but was not available. The outcome was favorable with recovery of renal function after 3 weeks of diuretic therapy. This development is not always the rule and the prognosis depends on early diagnosis and treatment options.

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