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In 12 patients comatose with cerebral malaria, cerebral blood flow was 52.2 (SE 4.0) ml/100 g per min, within the reported range for healthy controls, but cerebral vascular resistance was raised at 1.66 (0.19) mm Hg/ml per 100 g per min. Cerebral oxygen consumption (1.90 [0.23] ml/100 g per min), and cerebral arteriovenous oxygen content difference (3.5 [0.43] ml/dl) were subnormal, while cerebral venous pO2 (5.7 [0.2] kpA) was raised. After recovery of consciousness there were significant decreases in arterial lactate concentration (2.44 [0.45] to 1.19 [0.45] mumol/l) and cerebral lactate production (17.4 [7.9] to 5.6 [1.1] mmol/100 g per minute). These results provide evidence of cerebral anaerobic glycolysis associated with inadequate oxygen delivery to the brain consistent with either inhibition of cerebral oxidative metabolism or the microcirculatory obstruction envisaged in the "mechanical" hypothesis for cerebral malaria.


Journal article



Publication Date





534 - 538


Adolescent, Adult, Anaerobiosis, Animals, Biological Transport, Blood Glucose, Brain, Coma, Glycolysis, Humans, Lactates, Malaria, Male, Middle Aged, Oxygen, Oxygen Consumption, Plasmodium falciparum, Vascular Resistance