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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 33(1); 2022 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2022;33(1): 121-129.
Treatment outcomes of imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria with intravenous artesunate
Seunguk Lee , Taejin Park , Sung Koo Jung , Wonjin Cho , Kangeui Lee , Jung-In Ko
Department of Emergency Medicine, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Jung-In Ko ,Tel: 02-2260-7114, Fax: 02-2279-7075, Email: emregulus@gmail.com,
Received: April 6, 2021; Revised: June 1, 2021   Accepted: July 4, 2021.  Published online: February 28, 2022.
There has been a consistent import of Plasmodium falciparum malaria into South Korea. As artesunate has been shown to reduce malaria related mortality in other countries, we sought to evaluate the treatment outcomes of P. falciparum malaria with artesunate.
We retrospectively reviewed demographic (age, sex, travel history, and year of admission) and clinical data (sign and symptoms, laboratory findings, complications, treatment outcome) of patients with imported P. falciparum malaria diagnosed between 2014 and 2019.
A total of 55 patients with P. falciparum malaria were included, of which 36.4% had severe P. falciparum malaria. Their mean (±standard deviation) age was 42.6 (±12.8) years. Overall, the median length of hospital stay was 6 days (interquartile range, 4-9; range, 3-36) and 21.8% of the patients needed intensive care unit (ICU) care. The overall mortality rate was 3.6%. In patients with severe P. falciparum malaria, half of the patients (50.0%) needed ICU care and the mortality rate was 10.0%.
This is the first study to report the outcomes of imported P. falciparum malaria treated with artesunate. The mortality rate for severe P. falciparum malaria in this study was higher than that in other non-endemic countries. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effect of treatment of P. falciparum malaria with artesunate.
Key words: Plasmodium falciparum; Malaria; Artesunate
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