Loading dose of quinine in African children with cerebral malaria

Marein Van Der Torn, Philip E. Thuma, George F. Mabeza, Godfrey Biemba, Victor M. Moyo, Christine E. McLaren, Gary M. Brittenham, Victor R. Gordeuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The majority of deaths from cerebral malaria occur within 48 h after admission to hospital. Because of the possibility of inadequate treatment within this period, the use of a loading dose of quinine has been proposed. We reviewed clinical and laboratory data for 113 children with cerebral malaria, who were treated with intravenous quinine, 10 mg/kg every 8 h, at Macha Mission Hospital in rural Zambia. In 1990-1991, 39 children were not given a loading dose of quinine while, in 1992-1993, 74 children received a loading dose of 20 mg/kg. Elevated serum iron levels, as reflected in transferrin saturation, were strongly associated with higher mortality. A loading dose of quinine was associated with faster recovery from coma and enhanced clearance of parasitaemia and fever. The loading dose was also associated with trends to lower mortality and higher haemoglobin levels, but these differences were not statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-331
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemotherapy
  • Children
  • Loading dose
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Quinine
  • Serum iron
  • Zambia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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