Metabolic disturbances associated with fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and changes in the synthetic functions of the liver are common complications of malaria and are dependent on the degree of parasitemia. Packed cell volume (PCV), random blood glucose (RBG), total bilirubin (TB), total proteins (TP), albumin, serum electrolytes [sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+)] and anion gap (AG) were determined in fifty children with malaria aged between 1-15 years and thirty age matched apparently healthy children without malaria, using colorimetric and flame photometric methods. Data was analyzed using t-test at p < 0.05. The PCV, RBG, Na+, Mg2+, AG and TP were significantly lower and Ca2+ and TB higher in children with malaria compared to children without malaria. The serum Na+, K+, AG, TP and albumin were significantly lower and Ca2+, HCO3- and TB higher in children with severe malaria compared to those with mild malaria. Malaria and high parasite density is associated with perturbations in homeostasis of proteins and electrolytes and these may be implicated in the deleterious consequences associated with malaria in children.
Billirubin, Children, Electrolytes, Malaria, Proteins