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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


PASTORINO, Antonio C.; JACOB, Cristina M.A.; OSELKA, Gabriel W.  and  CARNEIRO-SAMPAIO, Magda M.S.. Visceral leishmaniasis: clinical and laboratorial aspects. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.2, pp.120-127. ISSN 0021-7557.

Objective: to compare the clinical and laboratorial data before and after the treatment of patients with visceral leishmaniasis admitted to a pediatric hospital in a nonendemic area, highlighting the importance of recognizing visceral leishmaniasis in pediatric patients. Methods: clinical, laboratorial and treatment data of 78 patients with visceral leishmaniasis were evaluated from 1981 to 1992. We analyzed the average level of hemoglobin, leukocyte, neutrophil, platelet, albumin, gammaglobulin, class and subclass of immunoglobulin, size of the liver and spleen during the pre- and post-treatment using the paired t test.Results: we included 78 patients with visceral leishmaniasis, 44 males, with age ranging from 8 months to 13.5 years. Sixty-one patients were from Bahia. Fever and splenomegaly were present in 96.1% and 100% of the cases, respectively. The parasitological diagnosis was obtained in 74/78 patients: 67 patients through smear and/or culture of bone marrow (85.7%), five through liver biopsy and two through spleen puncture. The hematological findings and serum albumin presented significant improvement at the end of treatment (P<0.001), differently from serum gammaglobulin levels (P=0.087). There was predominance of IgG1 subclass, with two patients presenting low levels of IgG2. Initial treatment used antimoniate in 67 cases and amphotericin B in five. Eleven patients (15.7%) needed a second treatment, and were considered cured after it. There was significant improvement in the liver and spleen size at the end of the treatment (P<0.001). One patient presented spontaneous remission and five died due to bleeding. Conclusions: in order to obtain accurate diagnosis and treatment, especially regarding health services of areas with low-incidence of visceral leishmaniasis, the diagnosis of patients with fever and visceromegaly, who come from endemic areas, should include visceral leishmaniasis.

Keywords : visceral leishmaniasis; kala-azar; infancy; diagnosis; treatment.

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