Background: Hematological changes are the most common complications occurred in malaria pathology. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, and mild-to-moderate atypical lymphocytosis are the main hematological changes occurred in malaria infection. Therefore, this study aimed to compare hematological profiles of malaria-infected adult patients in the Raya Alamata Hospital, Northeast Ethiopia from February 1, 2019, to April 30, 2019.
Methods: The hospital-based comparative cross-sectional study was done to compare the hematological profiles of a total of 238 study participants, consisting of 119 malaria-infected patients as cases and 119 malaria negatives as controls. Malaria diagnosis was done by thick and thin blood film microscopy. We determined the hematological parameters using an automated DiRUi BCC/3000B hematology analyzer. Data for the different hematological parameters were expressed as mean (± SD). A binary logistic regression model was constructed for categorical dependent variables to see the associations with predictors.
Results: In this study, the mean values of red blood cell count, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, platelet count, and eosinophil count were significantly lower in the cases than the controls. The prevalence of anemia and thrombocytopenia in malaria patients were 39.5% and 56.3%, respectively. Being female, and having high malaria parasitemia were found significantly associated with thrombocytopenia. The odds of developing thrombocytopenia was 8.4-fold higher in malaria patients with high malaria parasitemia.
Conclusions: Anemia and thrombocytopenia were the common hematological abnormalities observed in malaria patients. Therefore, malaria patients should be assessed for the presence of such hematological abnormalities and need to be managed timely.