Visceral childhood leishmaniasis in southern Turkey: experience of twenty years

Dursun, Oğuz; Erişir, Seyhan; Yeşilipek, Akif
January 2009
Turkish Journal of Pediatrics;Jan/Feb2009, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
One hundred and one children with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) who admitted to Akdeniz University Hospital during a 20-year period were analyzed. Median age of the patients was 3 years (range: 5.5 months-13 years). The most common symptoms at presentation were fever, pallor and abdominal distension. Splenomegaly was found in all of the patients while hepatomegaly was present in 98%. Anemia (96%), leukopenia (74%) and thrombocytopenia (56%) were the main laboratory abnormalities. Thirty-three (33%) of the patients were pancytopenic on admission. Bone marrow smear was positive for leishmania in 91% of the patients. Seventy-four patients were treated with antimony ± pentamidine and 27 with amphotericin B. Three of our patients died because of secondary infections and hemorrhage. Relapse was observed in two patients. No patient showed post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis findings. We conclude that VL should be considered in patients with prolonged fever, hepatosplenomegaly and cytopenia who live in an endemic region. Amphotericin B is a therapeutic agent as effective as pentavalent antimony compounds and could be preferred.


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