Which blood studies should be performed in the workup of malaria?

Updated: Jun 03, 2020
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The following blood studies should be ordered:

  • Blood culture

  • Hemoglobin concentration

  • Platelet count

  • Liver function

  • Renal function

  • Electrolyte concentrations (especially sodium)

  • Monitoring of parameters suggestive of hemolysis (haptoglobin, lactic dehydrogenase [LDH], reticulocyte count)

  • In select cases, rapid HIV testing

  • White blood cell count: Fewer than 5% of malaria patients have leukocytosis; thus, if leukocytosis is present, the differential diagnosis should be broadened

  • If the patient is to be treated with primaquine, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) level

  • If the patient has cerebral malaria, glucose level to rule out hypoglycemia

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