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Rate of reversion of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis after specific therapy

Seventy patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis were treated with oxamniquine. The patients lived iti an endemic area and were evaluated 6, 18 and 24 months after treatment, during which time transmission in the area was interrupted. After treatment, clinical improvement occurred in 49 (70%) of the patients, as seen by reduction in visceromegaly and reversion of liver nodules. Reversion of hepatosplenic disease occurred in 28 (40%) patients and in liver nodularity in 26 (47.3%)patients after 24 months. Reversion of hepatosplenic disease was seen in 12 (21%) patients and liver nodules disappeared in 4 (8.5%) as early as 6 months after treatment. In general, hepatosplenomegaly reverses earlier than liver nodularity. Itis notable that reversion of hepatosplenic disease occurred in many individuals with a history ofprevious treatment and also in some with advanced age. In four cases this clinical form of the disease had existed for 20 years. Therefore, there must exist factors other than age and duration of the condition which determine the reversibility of this clinical form. Ourresults reinforce the concept that, in patients with hepatosplenic disease without esophageal hemorrhages, specific treatment shouldpreceed surgical intervention even in those with a history of previous treatment. At least 18 months should be allowed for the ejfects of treatment to be manifest.

Schistosomiasis; Treatment; Oxamniquine; Reversion of hepatosplenic disease

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