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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 132-134

Malaria-associated pulmonary edema

Department of Pulmonology, Cantonal Hospital Winterthur, Winterthur; Department of Pulmonology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rene Hage
Department of Pulmonology, University Hospital Zurich, Raemistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejop.ejop_99_19

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Malaria-associated (MA) noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, or its more severe forms, i.e. acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome due to Plasmodium malariae, is a potentially fatal complication of malaria. It can mimic respiratory infections and present with concurrent malarial pulmonary edema and bacteriological respiratory infection. In our patient, malaria was diagnosed by microscopy (peripheral thick and thin Giemsa-stained blood smear) and serology testing. The chest computed tomography showed interstitial edema and a pleural effusion. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed, which was negative for both bacteria and hemozoin. After initiation of antimalarial treatment, the patient rapidly responded. Recognizing and promptly treating malaria is critical to reduce the mortality of MA pulmonary complications.

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