Frequency of thrombocytopenia and its severity in patients of Malaria.
Pakistan is an endemic area for malaria. Malaria is considered to be associated with thrombocytopenia. The frequency of thrombocytopenia varies in different studies. This study was done to determine the frequency of thrombocytopenia among patients with malaria. Objectives: To determine the frequency and severity of thrombocytopenia in patients of malaria. Study Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Pathology Department, Nishtar Medical University, Multan. Period: Eight months; (04-03-2018 to 03-11-2018). Materials & Methods: One hundred and fifty patients with malaria were included in the study. Platelet count of all the patients was done on Sysmex-K167. The patients were categorized according to the presence of thrombocytopenia (yes or no) and the severity of thrombocytopenia (mild, moderate or severe). The data was described as frequency distribution table. Results: The mean age of the patients was 31.81 + 15.31 years. There were 46 (30.7%) female patients and 104 (69.3%) male patients. Thrombocytopenia was present among 103 (68.7%) patients. Mild, moderate and severe thrombocytopenia was found in 60 (58.3%), 24 (23.3%) and 19 (18.4%) patients, respectively. Conclusion: This study concludes that frequency of thrombocytopenia is very high among patients with malaria. Severity of thrombocytopenia is mild to moderate, with few patients presenting with severe thrombocytopenia. This finding signifies that malaria is an important cause of thrombocytopenia. So the platelet count should be monitored closely in patients of malaria to avoid possible complications of thrombocytopenia. Moreover, it is suggested that malaria is an important differential diagnosis of thrombocytopenia with fever but needs confirmation by thick and thin smears for malarial parasite. In case of viral infections like dengue fever, smears will be negative for malarial parasite and patients will present with leucopenia and thrombocytopenia and majority of peripheral blood leucocytes will be reactive lymphocytes.