Retinal findings predictive of outcome in cerebral malaria.
Lewallen S., Bakker H., Taylor TE., Wills BA., Courtright P., Molyneux ME.
The pathogenesis of cerebral malaria is poorly understood. Direct and indirect ophthalmoscope examinations of 141 Malawian children with strictly defined cerebral malaria revealed 2 distinct and prognostically significant findings: papilloedema and extramacular retinal oedema. The relative risk of death in patients with papilloedema was 6.7 times that in patients without papilloedema. Extramacular retinal oedema was associated with a 2.9 fold increase in the relative risk of dying. The mortality rate in patients with neither of these signs was only 1.3% compared to an overall mortality rate of 9.2%. The clinical and laboratory features associated with each of these ophthalmological findings were different, suggesting that there may be at least 2 different pathogenetic processes in patients with cerebral malaria.