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Randomized Trial of Erythropoietin During Cerebral Malaria

Information source: Claude Bernard University
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Cerebral Malaria

Intervention: Placebo (Drug); Erythropoietin (Drug)

Phase: Phase 2/Phase 3

Status: Recruiting

Sponsored by: Claude Bernard University

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Stephane PICOT, MD PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Claude Bernard University, Malaria Research Unit

Overall contact:
Stephane PICOT, MD PhD, Phone: 33-4-7877-7502, Email: stephane.picot@sante.univ-lyon1.fr


Malaria remains one of the most common life-threatening illnesses in the tropics with a dramatic toll of more than one million deaths each year. A majority of malaria cases are non-complicated and only few evolve towards severe malaria resulting from the combination of parasite-specific virulence factors and host inflammatory responses. Cerebral malaria (CM) kills more than 1 million African children each year. CM carries a fatality rate of about 20% in adults, higher in children, despite timely and adequate chemotherapy. Moreover, the more rapid clearance of parasitaemia with new antimalarial drugs is not associated with improved survival, suggesting the potential interest for adjunctive therapies in the early phase of the disease. Cerebral malaria leading to seizure and coma is associated with severe intracranial hypertension caused by brain-swelling. Recent imaging and post-mortem findings in adult cerebral malaria have confirmed the presence of diffuse cerebral oedema with thalamic and cerebellar white matter hypoattenuation, diffuse petechial hemorrhages and symmetric ischemic changes involving the thalamus and the cerebellum. However, the nature of the pathogenetic processes leading to cerebral malaria is incompletely understood but mechanisms linking cytokines with endothelial cells activation in the cerebral microvasculature have been recently stressed. The effect of new neuroprotective therapies has not yet been investigated, although the manifestations of cerebral malaria partly share features with neurological stroke or acute non-specific neurological disorders. The hormone erythropoietin (EPO) is probably one of the more enthusiastic drugs in this area. EPO is as a member of type I cytokine superfamily with multiple functions, including a prominent role for erythropoiesis and neuroprotection. Systematically administered EPO crosses the blood brain barrier via the abundant expression of EPO receptors at brain capillaries, and acts as an anti-apoptotic and cytoprotective cytokine. Moreover, EPO prevents inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF╬▒, preserves endothelial cells integrity and prevents blood-brain barrier permeability. We propose a randomized clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of EPO in patients presenting cerebral malaria and hospitalized at Gabriel Toure hospital, Bamako, Mali, to reduce the incidence of premature death in hospitalized patients.

Clinical Details

Official title: Randomized Trial of Erythropoietin to Prevent Death From Cerebral Impairment During Severe Malaria

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome: Survival


Minimum age: 6 Months. Maximum age: 15 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria:

- Children between 6 months and 14 years old

- Severe cerebral malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum

- Coma (Blantyre score <3)

- Enlightened assessment

Exclusion Criteria:

- Any case of participation refusal

- Presence of another obvious affection being able to explain the state of the patient

- Negative malaria test (thick smear / thin smear)

- Severe anaemia

Locations and Contacts

Stephane PICOT, MD PhD, Phone: 33-4-7877-7502, Email: stephane.picot@sante.univ-lyon1.fr

Gabriel Toure Hospital, Bamako, Mali; Recruiting
Ogobara K DOUMBO, MD PhD, Phone: 223-222-8109, Email: okd@mrtcbko.org
Salimata KONATE, MD, Phone: 223-222-8109, Email: salimata57@yahoo.fr
Salimata KONATE, MD, Sub-Investigator
Additional Information

Related publications:

Bienvenu AL, Ferrandiz J, Kaiser K, Latour C, Picot S. Artesunate-erythropoietin combination for murine cerebral malaria treatment. Acta Trop. 2008 May;106(2):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Feb 15.

Starting date: October 2007
Last updated: June 12, 2008

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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