Neurological complications in patients with Plasmodium vivax malaria from Karachi, Pakistan

The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 2018;48(3):198-201 DOI 10.4997/JRCPE.2018.302


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Journal Title: The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

ISSN: 1478-2715 (Print); 2042-8189 (Online)

Publisher: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Medicine (General)

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



A Akhlaq
NK Ghanchi
B Usmani
R Shahzad
A Rahim
M Wasay
MA Beg


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Background Malaria remains an endemic disease in Pakistan with an estimated healthcare burden of 1.6 million cases annually, with Plasmodium vivax accounting for 67% of reported cases. P. vivax is the most common species causing malaria outside of Africa, with approximately 13.8 million reported cases worldwide. Method We report a series of P. vivax cases with cerebral involvement that presented at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. Results The majority of the patients presented with high-grade fever accompanied by projectile vomiting and abnormal behaviour, seizures, shock and unconsciousness. Seven of 801 patients with P. vivax monoinfection presented or developed cerebral complications. P. vivax infections were diagnosed based on peripheral smears and rapid diagnostic testing. Conclusion P. vivax infection can lead to severe complications, although not with the frequency of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Current cases highlight an increasing trend of cerebral complications caused by P. vivax.