The diagnosis of cerebral malaria (CM) is difficult to confirm in endemic regions with limited neurodiagnostics. Accurate diagnoses are critical for trials and outcomes studies. Findings from an autopsy-based study suggest that identifying malaria retinopathy in children satisfying the standard clinical case definition of CM improves our ability to accurately diagnose CM in vivo. In a post hoc analysis of a prospective exposure-control study to evaluate CM as a risk factor for epilepsy, we stratified children meeting the standard case definition by their retinopathy status (presence versus absence) and compared these groups for pre-existing risk factors for epilepsy. We also compared them to the concurrently enrolled, non-comatose controls. Children meeting the standard case definition of CM who lacked malaria retinopathy had a higher prevalence of pre-existing developmental problems and family history of epilepsy. This subset of patients may represent children with a pre-existing propensity to adverse neurologic symptoms and outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases