Eight patients with E. coli septicaemia had oliguric renal failure which was associated with haematological evidence of intravascular coagulation. Five of these patients also had the characteristic blood picture of microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia. In an attempt to prevent further deposition of fibrin, intravenous heparin was administered to six patients, three of whom recovered fully and three died. The diagnosis of intravascular coagulation was subsequently confirmed by histological examination of necropsy material and it is suggested that some of the complications of E.
Intravenous (i.v.) artesunate is now the recommended first-line treatment of severe falciparum malaria in adults and children by WHO guidelines. Nevertheless, several cases of haemolytic anaemia due to i.v. artesunate treatment have been reported. This paper describes the case of an HIV-infected patient with severe falciparum malaria who was diagnosed with haemolytic anaemia after treatment with oral artemether-lumefantrine.The patient presented with fever, headache, and arthromyalgia after returning from Central African Republic where he had been working.
BACKGROUND: Malaria is a leading cause of mortality, particularly in sub-Saharan African children. Prompt and efficacious treatment is important as patients may progress within a few hours to severe and possibly fatal disease. Chlorproguanil-dapsone-artesunate (CDA) was a promising artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), but its development was prematurely stopped because of safety concerns secondary to its associated risk of haemolytic anaemia in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient individuals.
In areas of low malaria transmission, it is currently recommended that a single dose of primaquine (0.75 mg base/kg; 45 mg adult dose) be added to artemisinin combination treatment (ACT) in acute falciparum malaria to block malaria transmission. Review of studies of transmission-blocking activity based on the infectivity of patients or volunteers to anopheline mosquitoes, and of haemolytic toxicity in glucose 6-dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient subjects, suggests that a lower primaquine dose (0.25 mg base/kg) would be safer and equally effective.
Artesunate has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the first-line treatment for severe malaria since 2010. It is not licensed in the United States but is available from CDC under an investigational new drug (IND) protocol. During 2010-2012, a total of 19 cases of delayed hemolytic anemia after treatment of severe malaria with artesunate were published in the peer-reviewed medical literature, but no such cases have been reported in the United States. CDC Malaria Branch staff reviewed each published report of delayed hemolysis after artesunate use.
Patients with severe malaria treated with artesunate sometimes experience a delayed hemolytic episode. Artesunate (AS) induces pitting, a splenic process whereby dead parasites are expelled from their host erythrocytes. These once-infected erythrocytes then return to the circulation. We analyzed hematologic parameters in 123 travelers treated with AS for severe malaria. Among 60 nontransfused patients observed for more than 8 days, 13 (22%) had delayed hemolysis.