Renal function was assessed in 40 children during the acute illness and after recovery from falciparum malaria. Creatinine clearance was significantly lower during the acute illness than after recovery. Six of 18 children with impaired creatinine clearance (< 50 ml/min/1.73 m2) had evidence of acute tubular dysfunction. Hyponatraemia occurred in 12.5% during the acute phase. Fractional sodium excretion was raised in 27% during the acute illness and continuing sodium wastage occurred in 17% after recovery. Plasma potassium was significantly higher and fractional potassium excretion (FeK) significantly lower during the acute illness than after recovery. There was a positive correlation between FeNa and FeK both during and after recovery from the illness but they did not exactly mirror each other in every individual. Urine sodium:potassium ratios were similar during and after recovery from the illness and was related to FeNa. Fractional glucose excretion was zero. Mild proteinuria occurred in 40% during the acute illness but were not related to creatinine clearance, body temperature at presentation, or peripheral parasite density. Proteinuria was absent after recovery. Acute intrinsic renal impairment occurs during apparently 'uncomplicated' falciparum malaria in children.
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