AbstractPurpose of the Study:
Malaria causes significant mortality and morbidity in endemic countries. The present study is aimed to evaluate certain hematological changes (RDW, platelet count and volume, total WBC and its differential count) in patients with malaria (P. vivax and P. falciparum only) and correlating these variations to the type of malaria.
Methodology: 60 vivax malaria and 60 falciparum malaria patients approaching our hospital set-up were studied using purposive sampling technique. The diagnosis and the type of malaria were confirmed by thick and thin blood smears. The blood counts for the above mentioned hematological parameters were assessed by ABX Pentra XL 80 automated blood counter.
Results: On comparing the vivax malaria against the normal controls, highly significant levels of thrombocytopenia (p=0.0001), increase in platelet volume (p=0.0001), leucopenia (p=0.004), monocytosis (p=0.0001), eosinopenia (p=0.0001), basophilia (p=0.0001) and atypical lymphocytosis (p=0.0001) were observed, the changes in the other parameters remaining insignificant. However, while comparing falciparum malaria against the normal controls, highly significant levels of thrombocytopenia (p=0.0001), increase in platelet volume (p=0.002), leucopenia (p=0.019), neutrophilia (p=0.0001), lymphocytopenia (p=0.0001), monocytosis (p=0.0001), eosinopenia (p=0.0001), basophilia (p=0.0001) and atypical lymphocytosis (p=0.0001) were observed, the changes in the RDW values remaining insignificant. The increase in the RDW counts were more significant (p=0.03) in falciparum malaria as compared to vivax. A highly significant level of neutrophilia (p=0.003) and lymphocytopenia (p=0.0001) was observed in falciparum malria. However, the degree of eosinopenia was highly significant (p=0.001) in vivax as compared to the falciparum variant of the infection. The other parameters did not show significant differences in the values obtained for the two infections.
Conclusions: Both vivax and falciparum malaria can cause significant hematological changes with a comparatively higher frequency of neutrophilia and lymphocytopenia in falciparum malaria and a higher frequency of eosinpenia in vivax malaria. These characteristic hematological changes should be considered in the diagnosis of malaria and the type of malaria.