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Background: Falciparum malaria remains one of the most global infection among children particularly in communities with poor resources. Falciparum malaria associated with several hematological changes that affect the major blood cell lines such as platelets lead to platelets parameters (platelets count and indices) abnormalities.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of falciparum malaria on platelets parameters (platelets count and indices) among Sudanese children. In addition to study relationships and correlation between platelets parameters and malaria parasitemia and parasite count.
Materials and Methods: A case control study was conducted in Wad Medani Pediatric Hospital in collaboration with Faculty of Medical laboratory Sciences, University of Gezira, Sudan among 100 children with severe falciparum malaria (mean age 8.63 ± 3.40 years; 61% males), 100 children with uncomplicated falciparum malaria (mean age 8.83 ± 4.20 years; 45% males) and 100 children with normal healthy children controls (mean age 10.08 ± 3.58 years; 50% males). Parasitemia and parasite count (%) was determined directly from thick and thin blood films respectively. The platelets parameters (platelets count and indices) measured by using Sysmex XP 300 N automated analyzer, and platelets count was confirmed and assessed using stained thin blood film. SPSS software (V 20.0) and Stat disk software (V 13.0) were used for data analysis.
Results: 72 % of severe falciparum malaria (SM) have hyperparasitemia, while 18 % among uncomplicated falciparum malaria (UM). The thrombocytopenia account for 43 % (SM: 30.5 %; UM: 12.5 %), low PCT account for 35.5 % (SM: 27 %; UM: 8.5 %) and high PDW account for 46.5 % (SM: 23.5 %; UM: 23 %) in falciparum malaria cases. The mean PLTs count and PDW were statistically significantly differences between falciparum malaria cases and normal healthy control (P value 0.000 and 0.008 respectively). The mean PLTs count and PCT in severe falciparum malaria cases were lower than uncomplicated falciparum malaria cases (P value 0.005 and 0.000 respectively). The PLTs count and PCT had significant negative correlation within malaria parasitemia (P value 0.000; r -0.286; P value 0.004; r -0.205 respectively) and malaria parasite count (P value 0.000; r -0.450; P value 0.000; r -0.270 respectively).
Conclusion: The study concluded that thrombocytopenia, low PCT and high PDW were observed as most platelets parameters changes in falciparum malaria. PLTs count along with PCT to be recommended as hematological diagnostic markers and prognostic tool to assess the disease severity and to improve the management of falciparum malaria among patients.
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