Journal Article

Cerebral Malaria in Children: Serum and Cerebrospinal Fluid TNF‐α and TGF‐β Levels and Their Relationship to Clinical Outcome

Fabian Esamai, Jan Ernerudh, Helena Janols, Susanne Welin, Christina Ekerfelt, Simeon Mining and Pia Forsberg

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 49, issue 4, pages 216-223
Published in print August 2003 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online August 2003 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/49.4.216
Cerebral Malaria in Children: Serum and Cerebrospinal Fluid TNF‐α and TGF‐β Levels and Their Relationship to Clinical Outcome

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This was a prospective study conducted at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya. Twenty‐three children admitted to the hospital with cerebral (CM) and 10 children with noncerebral malaria (NCM) were studied. The aim of the study was to establish and compare levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF‐α) and transforming growth factor (TGF‐β1) in these children. Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytokine levels were assayed using ELISA kits. In serum, TGF‐β1 and TNF‐α decreased over 5 days after admission to the hospital in both groups of patients with CM and NCM. In the CSF of cerebral cases the levels of TNF‐α and TGF‐β1 were low and inversely related. Children in deeper coma had lower levels in serum of TGF‐β and higher levels of TNF‐α than those in lighter levels of coma. The serum TNF‐α levels in CM children were the same irrespective of the duration of illness before admission, but children with NCM who had been sick for a shorter duration before admission tended to have higher serum levels of TNF‐α and higher levels of TGF‐β than those with a longer duration of illness before admission. In conclusion, this study shows that TNF‐α and TGF‐β1 may not be useful in predicting the outcome for CM. They may, however, be useful in detecting children at risk of developing deep coma. TNF‐α and TGF‐β levels were inversely related both in serum and CSF.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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