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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 691-694

Acute pancreatitis due to malaria: A case report of five patients and review of literature

Department of General Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kundavaram Paul Prabhakar Abhilash
Department of General Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.197302

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Malaria is endemic in large parts of India and can cause multiorgan failure and death. Acute pancreatitis as a complication is rare and is potentially fatal. This case series describes five adult patients between 2005 and 2010 who presented with a short duration febrile illness and diagnosed to have malaria with acute pancreatitis. The mean age of the five patients with acute pancreatitis was 40.4 years and four of them were males. None of them were alcohol consumers and did not have any other risk factor for acute pancreatitis. Plasmodium falciparum was responsible for all the cases. Pancreatic enzymes were significantly elevated in all the patients with a mean serum lipase level of 1795 U/L (normal value: <190 U/L) and a mean serum amylase level of 584 U/L (normal value: <100 U/L). Ultrasonography evidence of acute pancreatitis (bulky pancreas) was seen in two patients, and a further two patients had minimal left-sided pleural effusion. Thrombocytopenia (platelet count <100,000/cumm), renal dysfunction (serum creatinine >1.4 mg/dl), and hyperbilirubinemia were seen in all the patients. One patient died due to multiorgan failure. Acute pancreatitis is a very rare complication of malaria, and a high index of suspicion is required in patients presenting with severe malaria and abdominal pain.

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