Malaria-associated hypoglycaemia in children

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2015 Feb;13(2):267-77. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2015.995632. Epub 2014 Dec 26.


In the developing world, hypoglycemia is a frequent complication among admitted children, particularly in malaria-endemic areas, and a defining feature of severe malaria and associated with high case fatality rates (CFR). This complication could be much more common than currently considered, particularly because it frequently occurs without a direct immediate clinical translation. Its etiology has not yet been fully understood and is likely to be multifactorial. Routine screening and treatment of hypoglycemia, as recommended by international guidelines, may be challenging to perform in developing countries on account of the limited resources available. In this review, we discuss the published literature in relation with the incidence, risk factors, and consequences of hypoglycemia among malaria patients, aiming to improve our current understanding of this common and life-threatening complication of malaria.

Keywords: children; continuous glucose monitor; glucose consumption; glucose homeostasis; hyperinsulinemia; hypoglycemia; malaria; sublingual glucose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Child
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology
  • Hypoglycemia / physiopathology
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control
  • Incidence
  • Malaria / complications*
  • Malaria / epidemiology
  • Malaria / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose