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J Infect Dis. 2004 Nov 15;190(10):1793-6. Epub 2004 Oct 18.

Antimony plus recombinant human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor applied topically in low doses enhances healing of cutaneous Leishmaniasis ulcers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Servico de Imunologia, Hospital Universitario Professor Edgard Santos, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) requires 2-6 months to heal. In an effort to reduce this healing time, we studied topically applied granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as an adjunct to antimonial therapy. Ten patients received antimony plus topical GM-CSF, and 10 patients received antimony plus placebo (saline). GM-CSF was diluted for topical use and was applied 3 times weekly for 3 weeks (1-2 microg/cm2/lesion). The mean +/- SD healing time was 43 +/- 14 days in the GM-CSF group and was 104+/-79 days in the placebo group (P=.043). Ten (100%) of 10 patients in the GM-CSF group healed within 60 days, compared with 5 (50%) of 10 patients in the placebo group. Two of the patients in the placebo group required retreatment with antimony. In conclusion, topically applied GM-CSF is effective in the management of CL.

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