Childhood Plasmodium vivax malaria with severe thrombocytopenia and bleeding manifestations

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2009 Oct;31(10):758-9. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e3181b7eb12.


Thrombocytopenia of varying magnitude, usually without hemorrhagic manifestations, is commonly observed in Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria. However, severe thrombocytopenia associated with bleeding manifestations in malarial infection is distinctly unusual. The pathogenesis of this condition remains speculative till date, although several hypotheses have been put forward. We report a case of 4-year-old boy with P. vivax malaria, who developed severe thrombocytopenia during the course of his infection manifested by bleeding from skin and mucosal surfaces. He improved with antimalarial and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. Clinicians caring for children should be aware of potential bleeding manifestations that may be the result of apparently innocuous infection like vivax malaria.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Child, Preschool
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Malaria, Vivax / complications*
  • Malaria, Vivax / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Mucous Membrane / pathology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology*


  • Antimalarials
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous