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[Treatment of cerebral malaria in African children by intravenous quinine: comparison of a loading dose regimen to a regimen without a loading dose]

Author(s): Assimadi JK, Gbadoe AD, Agbodjan-Djossou O, Ayewada K, Goeh-Akue E, Kusiaku K, Dogba A, Adjogble K, Gayibor A

Affiliation(s): Service de cardiologie, departement de medecine interne, universite de Lome, BP 4657 Lome, Togo. assimadi@tg.refer.org

Publication date & source: 2002-06, Arch Pediatr., 9(6):587-94.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; English Abstract; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: To compare in a randomized study the efficacy and the toxicity of the new WHO intravenous quinine treatment of cerebral malaria including a loading dose regimen to a regimen without loading dose. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-two children eight months to 15 years of age with cerebral malaria were included. Quinine formiate was administered to a group of 35 patients in an initial loading dose of 20 mg salt/kg (equivalent to 17.5 mg/kg of the base) in 10 mL/kg of 5% glucose over four hours, followed eight hours later by a maintenance dose quinine of 10 mg salt/kg (equivalent to 8.7 mg/kg of the base) dissolved in 15 mL/kg of 5% glucose over and every 12 hours. The second group of 37 patients received intravenous quinine 15 mg salt/kg (13.1 mg of base) dissolved in 15 mL/kg of 5% glucose infused over 6 to 8 hours, every 12 hours. In both groups this treatment was continued until the patient could swallow, then quinine tablets were given to complete seven days treatment. The assessment of cardiovascular side effects was made by an ECG at admission, the 4th hour, the 24th hour and at the end of treatment for each patient. RESULTS: Coma mean durations were similar in the two groups: 35.5 +/- 17.8 hours and 28.6 +/- 14.4 hours respectively for the loading dose group and the group without loading dose. The two groups were comparable also for the decrease evolution of parasitemia. Case-fatality rates were also similar: 95% of healing at the 72nd hour and a lethality rate between 5 and 6% in the two groups. But a significant increase of the body temperature was noted between the 51st and the 63rd hour in the group without loading dose. No significant cardiovascular toxicity was noticed in the two groups. The mean cost of the loading dose regimen was less than that of the second regimen. CONCLUSION: The loading dose regimen of quinine is well tolerated and it seemed slightly more effective than the regimen without loading dose. In cases of contra-indications (patients who recently received quinine, mefloquine or halofantrine), regimens without loading dose, which remains effective, should be used.

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