Pentoxifylline as a supportive agent in the treatment of cerebral malaria in children

Giovanni Di Perri, Haria Guasparri Di Perri, Geraldo Badona Monteiro, Stefano Bonora, Cornelia Hennig, Marco Cassatella, Rocco Micciolo, Sandro Vento, Stella Dusi, Dante Bassetti, Ercole Concia

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93 Citations (Scopus)


In an open, randomized, controlled therapeutic trial, 56 children with cerebral malaria (CM) were randomly assigned to receive standard Quinine regimen with or without pentoxifylline (10 mg/kg/day by continuous intravenous infusion). Pentoxifylline exerted an inhibitory effect on the synthesis of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a possible mediator of CM. The 26 children who received pentoxifylline had significantly shorter comas than controls (median, 6 vs. 46 h; P <.001). Pentoxifylline recipients showed a trend toward a lower mortality, with a borderline significant difference (P =.055). The better outcome in the pentoxifylline group was associated with a decline in TNF serum levels on the third day of treatment in a few subjects that was not seen in controls. While alternative or concurrent mechanisms of action may be of some relevance, larger double-blind trials are needed to determine whether pentoxifylline has a therapeutic role in CM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1322
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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