• Users Online: 137
  • Print this page
  • Email this page
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 226-229

Plasmodium vivax Malaria Associated with Severe Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Department of Pediatrics, Tata Motors Hospital, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Goranti Nishith
M-28/5, Telco Colony, Near Tata Motors Hospital, Jamshedpur - 831 004, Jharkhand
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipcares.ipcares_129_22

Rights and Permissions

Background: Severe and/or persistent anemia due to autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) secondary to vivax malaria is a rare association. Very few cases are reported worldwide, and even less from India. AIHA occurs when immunoglobulins and/or complements target red blood cell surface antigens resulting in hemolysis. Awareness of this complication helps in early recognition, investigation, and prompt initiation of treatment. Clinical Description: A 15-year-old boy presented with a history of high fever associated with chills for 2 days. Examination revealed the presence of severe pallor and icterus. Systemic examination was unremarkable. Investigations showed anemia (Hb: 3.6 g/dl) with reticulocytosis (6.6%), malaria (trophozoites of Plasmodium vivax and antigen test positive), and indirect evidence of hemolysis (indirect hyperbilirubinemia and elevated lactate dehydrogenase of 668 U/l). Management and Outcome: Treatment was started with intravenous artesunate and packed cells transfusion was planned. Cross-matching showed autoantibodies which raised suspicion of AIHA. Coomb's test was positive. Least incompatible packed red blood cells were transfused. A repeat peripheral smear was negative for malaria. Posttransfusion, the Hb levels rose to 8.3 g/dl before falling to 5.3 g/dl over the next 2 days. The direct antiglobulin test was positive. High doses of oral prednisolone resulted in progressive improvement in Hb levels to 8 g/dl within a week. He was discharged on oral prednisolone with daily oral folic acid supplements. The steroids were tapered when Hb reached 10.6 g/dl and continued for 3 months. Conclusion: If a patient with malaria (falciparum or vivax) exhibits persistent severe anemia, indirect evidence of hemolysis is found on investigations and/or autoantibodies identified on cross-matching, AIHA should be suspected and investigated accordingly.

Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded43    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal