Adequacy of severe malaria markers and prognostic scores in an intensive care unit in Luanda, Angola: a clinical study

Maria Lina Antunes, J Seixas, Humberto E. C. S. Ferreira, MS Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains the primary cause of mortality in several African countries, including Angola, where severe malaria patient admission into intensive care units (ICU) is mandatory. The present observational and prospective study enrolled 101 consecutive severe malaria patients admitted at the ICU of Américo Boavida University Hospital (Luanda, Angola). Malaria was confirmed by microscopy and RDT, and WHO criteria were used to define severe malaria. The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score was used to monitor organ dysfunctions. Surviving and nonsurviving patients were compared using bivariate statistical methods. Two-step cluster analysis was used to find discriminant organ dysfunctions that may correlate better with the observed mortality (16.8%), which was much lower than the one generated by the SOFA score. The study population was young, and 87% of the patients were local native residents. There was no statistically significant correlation between the parasitemia and the outcome. Hematological and cerebral dysfunctions were prevalent but were not discriminant when cluster analyses were performed to detect homogeneous subgroups of patients. In conclusion, the SOFA score was readily applicable and efficient in monitoring daily organ dysfunction but was not effective enough in predicting the outcome of severe malaria patients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3862-3874
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020


  • Severe malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • SOFA score
  • Intensive care unit
  • Angola


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