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Plasmodium vivax malaria: An unusual presentation

Keywords: Acute respiratory distress syndrome , Plasmodium vivax , PfHRP-2 , NIV

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Acute renal failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), hypoglycemia, coma, or epileptic seizures are manifestations of severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria. On the other hand, Plasmodium vivax malaria seldom results in pulmonary damage, and pulmonary complications are exceedingly rare. We report the case of a 42-year-old male living in a malaria-endemic area who presented with ARDS and was diagnosed as having Plasmodium vivax malaria. A diagnosis of Plasmodium vivax malaria was established by a positive Plasmodium LDH immunochromatographic assay while a negative PfHRP2 based assay ruled out P. falciparum malaria. After specific anti-plasmodial therapy and intensive supportive care, the patient recovered and was discharged from hospital. The use of NIPPV in vivax-malaria related ARDS was associated with a good outcome.


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