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We prospectively studied 50 Vietnamese patients with blackwater fever (BWF). All patients had fever and hemoglobinuria, 40 (80%) were jaundiced, 25 (50%) had hepatomegaly, 15 (34%) had splenomegaly, and 9 (18%) had hepatosplenomegaly. Twenty-one patients (42%) had impaired renal function, with creatinine clearances of < 50 mL/min/m2; however, only four (8%) developed oliguric renal failure, three (6%) of whom required dialysis. Forty-four patients (88%) developed anemia, which was severe (hematocrit, < 20% in 32 (64%). One patient died, representing a death rate for this once-feared disease that is considerably lower than that reported by earlier investigators. BWF was associated with quinine ingestion in 28 patients (56%), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency in 27 (54%), and concurrent malaria infection in 16 (32%). There was no statistically significant difference in the severity of BWF associated with each of these three factors, as assessed by creatinine clearance and the hematocrit value on admission and by the number of units of blood transfused. There was considerable overlap in the occurrence of G6PD deficiency, quinine ingestion, and malaria, suggesting that these factors may interact and that it may not be justifiable to regard hemoglobinuria caused by G6PD deficiency as a separate syndrome.


Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





1274 - 1281


Blackwater Fever, Female, Humans, Male, Prospective Studies, Vietnam