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Tenn Med. 2013 May;106(5):41-3.

Treatment of cerebral malaria and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with parenteral artesunate.

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Pulmonary Associates of East Tennessee, Johnson City, TN, USA.


Infection with Plasmodium Falciparum can cause a severe form of malaria with multiorgan involvement. Cerebrum is one of the organs involved in the P. Falciparum malaria, which can lead to coma, convulsions, and other neurological sequel. The sequestration of cerebral vasculature with parasitized red blood cells is one of the proposed mechanisms for the development of cerebral malaria. We present a case of malaria with multi organ involvement. Cerebral malaria should be suspected in any febrile patient from a malaria-endemic region with loss of consciousness. Compared with quinine, intravenous artemisinin compounds (artesunate, arteether, artemether) are well tolerated by patients and have fewer side effects. Due to multi-organ involvement in P. Falciparum malaria, supportive therapy is crucial along with parenteral antimalarial to improve survival.

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