Which physical findings suggest malaria?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with malaria have no specific physical findings, but splenomegaly may be present. Severe malaria manifests as the following:

  • Cerebral malaria (sometimes with coma)

  • Severe anemia

  • Respiratory abnormalities: Include metabolic acidosis, associated respiratory distress, and pulmonary edema; signs of malarial hyperpneic syndrome include alar flaring, chest retraction, use of accessory muscles for respiration, and abnormally deep breathing

  • Renal failure (typically reversible)

See Clinical Presentation for more detail.


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