Delayed anemia after treatment with artesunate

30 Jul 2014

Christian Burri, Giovanfrancesco Ferrari, Henry Maggi Ntuku, Antoinette Tshefu Kitoto, Stephan Duparc, Pierre Hugo, Didier Kalemwa Mitembo, and Christian Lengele

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Photo: Qvist/


Cases of delayed hemolytic anemia have been described after treatment with injectable artesunate, the current World Health Organization-recommended first-line drug for the treatment of severe malaria. A total of 350 patients (215 [61.4%] < 5 years of age and 135 [38.6%] ≥ 5 years of age) were followed-up after treatment with injectable artesunate for severe malaria in hospitals and health centers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A complete series of hemoglobin (Hb) measurements were available for 201 patients. A decrease in Hb levels between 2 and 5 g/dL was detected in 23 (11.4%) patients during the follow-up period. For five patients, Hb levels decreased below 5 g/dL during at least one follow-up visit. All cases of delayed anemia were clinically manageable and resolved within one month.

Read the full article on The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene website.