Q. Could elevated CPK value be related to malaria?

Answered by
Dr. Manish N Garg
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 07, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 15, 2020

Hi doctor,

My father, who is 70 years old, was admitted in a hospital for severe weakness, high fever (105 degrees Fahrenheit), shivering and lack of appetite. Blood tests revealed that he had malaria (Vivax) and a platelet count of 44,000, which is below normal. But, there was no dengue or typhoid. He had also complained of slight pain near his heart area. It has been only for the past five days that is from the day of fever. Malaria treatment has been started already in the hospital. For heart, they did an ECG and echocardiography and the results were normal. His doctor said that my father's ECG graph was slightly different than the same 9 years back. Then, they tested for the cardiac enzyme marker CPK. Apparently, the CPK result should be in the hundreds, but it was in the thousands. So, they are suspecting a heart condition, although they are not sure about the condition. But, echocardiogram gave a normal heart without any blocks. They are thinking that at a later stage, they may do an angiogram. Could the elevated CPK value be related to the malaria attack or the treatment antibiotics for malaria? Could age (70 years) be an issue for high CPK level? Is an angiogram must now? Could the platelet count be an indication of heart problems as well as malaria? Are CPK and angiogram tests invasive? Can they be harmful at times? Do you like to state any other general point in the above case? I have no reports or any other data, so please respond on the basis of the above information. My father has two prior problems. Since a few years, he has prostatitis and slightly low blood pressure. Thank you.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • CPK enzyme (creatine phosphokinase) is specific to the heart. It gets elevated only in cardiac disease and not in malaria. However, a more specific test would be troponin enzyme levels.
  • Also, age does not cause CPK enzymes to increase.
  • Low platelet is due to malaria and not a heart condition.
  • Yes, angiogram is an invasive test, but with minimal complications. Your father can get a CT coronary angiogram if he wishes for it. It is less invasive than conventional study.
  • I would recommend your father go to for it by seeing the medical condition and raised enzymes. But, it should be done only after he becomes stable after his recovery from malaria.

For further information consult a cardiologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/cardiologist

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