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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2001 Jun;95(4):331-6.

Influence of clinical presentation on the efficacy of a short course of pentamidine in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis in French Guiana.

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Service de Dermatologie-Vénérologie, Centre Hospitalier de Cayenne, Rue des Flamboyants, 97300 Cayenne, French Guiana.


The cure 'rates' achieved using intramuscular pentamidine isethionate (two injections of 4 mg/kg separated by an interval of 48 h) were investigated in French Guiana, in 198 consecutive patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania braziliensis guyanensis. One aim was to see if initial clinical presentation could be used to predict treatment failure. The cure rate after one course of pentamidine isethionate was 87% and almost all (80%) of the treatment failures responded to an identical second course. Although many of the patients complained of adverse effects, most commonly of pain at the injection site (54%), none of these effects was severe. Although frequently associated with discomfort, the two-injection course, giving a total of 8 mg pentamidine isethionate/kg, appears to be an effective treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis in French Guiana. The observation of satellite papules on presentation was associated with a significantly increased risk of failure of the first course of treatment (P = 0.01), with an odds ratio (and 95% confidence interval) estimated at 3.5 (1.3-11.1), after adjusting for other clinical presentations and lesion size and number. The presence of satellite papules perhaps indicates that the patient's immune system is unable to control the progression of the parasite. Patients with more than three lesions were also less likely to be cured after one course of pentamidine than those with fewer lesions (P = 0.01).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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