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Acta Trop. 2006 Jan;97(1):55-64. Epub 2005 Sep 12.

Clinical aspects of 2541 patients with second stage human African trypanosomiasis.

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Swiss Tropical Institute, Medical and Diagnostic Services, Socinstrasse 57, 4002 Basel, Switzerland.


The clinical symptoms and signs of patients with second stage HAT are described for a large cohort of patients treated in a prospective multicentre, multinational study. Special emphasis is given to the influence of disease stage (duration, number of WBC in CSF) and patient age to the clinical picture. Even though the frequencies of symptoms and signs are highly variable between centres, the clinical picture of the disease is similar for all countries. Headache (78.7%), sleeping disorder (74.4%) and lymphadenopathy (56.1%) are the most frequent symptoms and signs and they are similar for all stages of the disease. Lymphadenopathy tends to be highest in the advanced second stage (59.0%). The neurological and psychiatric symptoms increase significantly with the number of WBC in the CSF indicating the stage of progression of the disease. Pruritus is observed in all stages and increases with the number of WBC in CSF from 30 to 55%. In children younger than 7 years, lymphadenopathy is less frequently reported (11.8-37.3%) than in older children or adults (56.4-61.2%). Fever is most frequently reported in children between 2 and 14 years of age (26.1-28.7%) and malnutrition is significantly more frequently observed in children of all ages (43-56%) than in adults (23.5%).

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