Table 3

WHO severity criteria in 165 children with imported falciparum malaria

CharacteristicsCases (n=55)Controls (n=110)OR (95% CI)*p Value*
WHO characteristics
Impaired consciousness (GCS<15)39/55 (70.9%)5/110 (4.5%)51 (18 to 149)<0.0001
Seizure9/55 (16.4%)0/110 (0%)45 (2.6 to 792)†<0.0001
Circulatory collapse13/55 (23.6%)1/110 (0.9%)34 (4.0 to 266)<0.0001
Respiratory distress4/55 (7.3%)2/110 (1.8%)4.2 (0.8 to 24)0.08
Coagulation disorders2/55 (3.5%)1/110 (0.9%)4.1 (0.4 to 46)0.21
Jaundice8/55 (14.6%)14/110 (12.7%)1.2 (0.5 to 3.0)0.75
Renal failure11/55 (20.0%)1/110 (0.9%)27 (3.4 to 217)<0.0001
Haemoglobinuria6/55 (10.9%)3/110 (2.7%)4.4 (1.0 to 18)0.03
Hypoglycaemia (<2.2 mmol/L)2/49 (4.1%)0/67 (0%)7.1 (0.3 to 151)†0.10
Anaemia (<50 g/L)4/54 (7.4%)2/101 (2.0%)4.0 (0.7 to 22)0.01
Parasitaemia (> 10%)15/50 (30.0%)8/98 (8.2%)4.8 (1.9 to 12)<0.001
Acidosis‡18/47 (38.3%)0/79 (0%)100 (5.8 to 1708)†<0.0001
Hyperlactataemia >5 mmol/L5/29 (17.2%)0/3 (0%)1.6 (0.1 to 35)†0.43
Bilirubin concentration >50 µmol/L10/40 (25.0%)5/65 (7.7%)4 (1.3 to 13)0.01
Additional characteristics
Anaemia (<70 g/L)22/54 (40.7%)13/101 (12.9%)4.7 (2.1 to 10)<0.0001
Thrombocytopenia (<50 000 platelets/mm3)25/54 (46.3%)7/102 (6.9%)11.7 (4.6 to 30)<0.0001
C reactive protein (mg/L), mean±SD126±7867±53<0.0001§
White cell counts (cells/mm3), mean±SD10.5±8.37.6±3.10.06§
Neutrophil counts (cells/mm3) mean±SD5.7±3.94.3±2.20.04§
  • Cases: Children hospitalised in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs); Controls: Children not hospitalised in PICUs.

  • *Fisher's exact test.

  • †An approximate OR was calculated by adding 0.5 to each cell.

  • ‡Acidosis was defined as HCO3 concentration <15 mmol/L and/or base excess >−10 and/or pH <7.35.

  • §Wilcoxon rank sum test.

  • GCS, Glasgow Coma Scale.