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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 796182, 11 pages
Research Article

Leukogram Profile and Clinical Status in vivax and falciparum Malaria Patients from Colombia

Grupo Malaria, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 70, No. 52-21, Medellín, Colombia

Received 30 June 2015; Revised 4 October 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Ib C. Bygbjerg

Copyright © 2015 Alberto Tobón-Castaño et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Hematological alterations are frequent in malaria patients; the relationship between alterations in white blood cell counts and clinical status in malaria is not well understood. In Colombia, with low endemicity and unstable transmission for malaria, with malaria vivax predominance, the hematologic profile in malaria patients is not well characterized. The aim of this study was to characterize the leukogram in malaria patients and to analyze its alterations in relation to the clinical status. Methods. 888 leukogram profiles of malaria patients from different Colombian regions were studied: 556 with P. falciparum infection (62.6%), 313 with P. vivax infection (35.2%), and 19 with mixed infection by these species (2.1%). Results. Leukocyte counts at diagnosis were within normal range in 79% of patients and 18% had leucopenia; the most frequent alteration was lymphopenia (54%) followed by monocytosis (11%); the differential granulocyte count in 298 patients revealed eosinophilia (15%) and high basophil counts (8%). Leukocytosis, eosinopenia, and neutrophilia were associated with clinical complications. The utility of changes in leukocyte counts as markers of severity should be explored in depth. A better understanding of these hematological parameters will allow their use in prompt diagnosis of malaria complications and monitoring treatment response.