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A preliminary study of filariasis related acute adenolymphangitis with special reference to precipitating factors and treatment modalities.

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Department of Medicine, TD Medical College Hospital, Alleppey, Kerala, India.


Episodic adenolymphangitis (ADL) is one of the important clinical manifestations of lymphatic filariasis. Recurrent ADLs contribute to the progress of the disease and also have important socioeconomic implications since they cause significant loss of man days. The present study was conducted in order to identify the precipitating factors responsible for ADL attacks and also to examine the different modalities of treatment. Sixty-five individuals with filariasis related ADL attacks, who are residents of Alleppey district (endemic for Brugia malayi) were studied. All efforts were taken to identify the precipitating factors for ADLs in these individuals. They were hospitalized for a period of five days or more. All of them received symptomatic antipyretic/antiinflammatory therapy and topical antibiotic/antifungal treatment of the affected limbs. They were then randomly allocated to one of the following four regimens: group I - symptomatic alone; group II - symptomatic plus antibiotics; group III - symptomatic followed by diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) and group IV - symptomatic plus antibiotic followed by DEC. Patients in groups III and IV received DEC every three months up to one year. There was a significant relationship between the number of ADL attacks and the grade of edema. Presence of focus of infection in the affected limb could be identified in 28 of the 65 patients. In the majority of patients (48) response to treatment was rapid (resolution in less than five days). Neither antibiotics nor DEC (given at intervals of three months) appeared to alter the frequency of ADL attacks. On the otherhand simple hygienic measures combined with good foot care and local antibiotic/antifungal cream application (where required), were effective in reducing the number of ADL attacks.

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