Sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive values of selected clinical signs and symptoms in the diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni infection were evaluated in 403 individuals (69% of inhabitants over 1 year of age) in an endemic area in Brazil (Divino). Highest sensitivity (13%) was found for blood in stools. Specificity over 90% was found for blood in stools, palpable liver with normal consistency and palpable hardened liver at middle clavicular (MCL) or middle sternal lines (MSL). Hardened liver at MSL (83%) or MCL (75%), and blood in stools (78%) presented higher positive predictive values for S. mansoni infection, while palpable liver with normal consistency at MCL (45%) or MSL (48%) presented smaller values. Enlarged liver without specification of its consistency has been traditionally used as an indicator of the infection in areas where malaria or Kalazar are not endemic. Our results demonstrate that the probability that a person with blood in stools or hardened palpable liver is infected is higher than among those with palpable liver with normal consistency.
Schistosoma mansoni infection; Morbidity; Validity of clinical signs and symptoms; Cross sectional study