Acute renal failure in patients with severe falciparum malaria.
Trang TT., Phu NH., Vinh H., Hien TT., Cuong BM., Chau TT., Mai NT., Waller DJ., White NJ.
Since 1988 in this referral center for severe cases of malaria for South Vietnam, a specialist team has managed malaria-associated renal failure (MARF) with peritoneal dialysis, and the mortality rate of MARF has fallen from 75% (78 of 104) to 26% (27 of 104) (P < .0002). Sixty-four patients with MARF (of whom 12 died) were compared to 66 patients with severe malaria whose serum creatinine levels remained < 250 mumol/L (six died). MARF had the clinical and biochemical features of acute tubular necrosis and was significantly associated with liver dysfunction (P < .05). A fatal outcome was associated significantly with anuria, a short history of illness, multisystem involvement, and high parasitemia. Most patients died from complications related to renal failure. Recovery of renal function was unrelated to parasitemia or hemoglobinuria; the median (range) time until urine output exceeded 20 mL/(kg.d) was 4 (0-19) days, and the time (mean +/- SD) for serum creatinine level to return to normal was 17 +/- 6 days. MARF can be managed effectively by prompt and careful peritoneal dialysis, but more effective dialysis or diafiltration might reduce the mortality rate further.