CASI CLINICI – Case Reports
Biochimica Clinica 2012; 36(3) 204-208
Due casi di malaria diagnosticati incidentalmente con un analizzatore ematologico
Laboratorio Analisi, Dipartimento di Patologia e Diagnostica, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata di Verona
Two cases of malaria incidentally diagnosed with a hematology analyzer
Although the malaria infection is essentially a problem in tropical countries, it has becoming a health issue even in Western countries due to tourism and immigration. The specific diagnostic tests are ordered if a clinical suspicion is raised, but symptoms of malaria infection can be vague and easily attributed to minor febrile affections, particularly in non-endemic regions. The diagnosis of malaria cannot be dismissed to rapidly establish the appropriate treatment, avoiding harmful complications of the disease. Recently, hematological analyzers have been proposed as potentially useful tools to detect in the blood count of affected patients abnormalities that can guide a timely malaria diagnosis. We present here two cases of malaria infection in which the first diagnostic suspicion was posed on the basis of abnormal scattergrams of a hematological analyzer. The aim is to present this relatively new diagnostic opportunity, increasing the awareness of laboratorians on the possibility to raise a suspicion of malaria infection, even if specific diagnostic tests have not been ordered.