Outcome in severe acute renal failure associated with malaria
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BACKGROUND: Malaria, a common health problem in certain parts of the world, has a considerable morbidity and mortality. This study reports its occurrence with a serious complication, acute renal failure (ARF), at a Third World tertiary care centre. METHODS: All registered patients with ARF who had history and clinical findings suggestive of malaria and had malarial parasites on peripheral blood smears were included in this study. The data on their modes of presentation, management and outcome have been analysed. RESULTS: Between January 1990 and December 1999, a total of 2098 patients with ARF were seen at the centre. Of these, 124 (5.9%) developed ARF due to malaria (falciparum in 121 and vivax in three). The male:female ratio was 4:1 and 84 (68%) patients were oligo- or anuric on presentation. Mean serum creatinine on admission was 9.43 +/- 5.39 mg/dl and 99 (79.8%) patients required renal replacement therapy. Of the cohort, 32 (25.8%) died, most within 48 h of admission. Age, oliguria, central nervous system involvement and presence of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy emerged as bad prognostic factors in simple univariate analysis. Of the survivors, 77 (62%) had complete recovery of renal function, while 15 (12%) were progressing towards recovery when lost to follow-up. The number of dialysis sessions did not differ significantly between the oliguric and non-oliguric groups. CONCLUSIONS: In patients who do not succumb early to ARF of severe malaria, treatment with antimalarials and dialysis brings about recovery of renal function.
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