falciparum malaria

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fal·cip·a·rum ma·lar·i·a

malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and characterized by malarial paroxysms of severe form that typically occur every 48 hours with acute cerebral, renal, or gastrointestinal manifestations in severe cases, chiefly caused by the large number of red blood cells affected and the tendency for such infected red blood cells to become sticky and clump, thus blocking capillaries.
See also: malarial knobs.

falciparum malaria

[falsip′ərəm]
Etymology: L, falx, sickle, forma, form; It, mal, bad aria, air
the most severe form of malaria, caused by the protozoon Plasmodium falciparum. The condition is characterized by extremely grave systemic symptoms, mild jaundice, mental confusion, enlarged spleen and liver, increased respiratory rate, edema, GI symptoms, and anemia. The parasite replicates so rapidly in erythrocytes that cerebral vessels may be obstructed. Falciparum malaria episodes do not last as long as other forms of malaria; if treatment is begun promptly, the disease may be mild and the recovery uneventful. Relapses are uncommon, but death may result from dehydration and anemia. The usual treatment is chloroquine, but patients known to have contracted malaria in an area that harbors drug-resistant P. falciparum are often treated with a combination of quinine, pyrimethamine, and mefloquine. Compare quartan malaria, tertian malaria. See also algid malaria, blackwater fever, malaria.

fal·cip·a·rum ma·lar·i·a

(fal-sip'ă-rŭm mă-lar'ē-ă)
Disease caused by Plasmodium falciparum and characterized by intense malarial paroxysms that after synchronization occur every 48 hours with acute cerebral, renal, or gastrointestinal manifestations in severe cases, chiefly caused by the large number of red blood cells affected and the tendency for infected red blood cells to become sticky and then clump, thus blocking capillaries.
Synonym(s): malignant tertian malaria.

falciparum malaria

The most dangerous form of MALARIA caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum . There is severe breakdown of red blood cells, sometimes with so much release of HAEMOGLOBIN that it appears in the urine (BLACKWATER FEVER). Falciparum malaria also features blockage of small blood vessels by parasite and toxic effects on the linings. The consequent damage to organs, including the brain, is a major danger.