Hematological profiles of visceral leishmaniasis patients before and after treatment of anti-leishmanial drugs at University of Gondar Hospital; Leishmania Research and Treatment Center Northwest, Ethiopia

BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Sep 26;21(1):1005. doi: 10.1186/s12879-021-06691-7.


Background: Visceral leshimaniasis is a parasitic disease characterized by systemic infection of phagocytic cells and an intense inflammatory response. The progression of the disease or treatment may have an effect on hematological parameters of these patients'. Thus, the current study sought to compare the hematological profiles of visceral leishmaniasis patients before and after treatment with anti-leishmaniasis drugs.

Method: An institutional-based retrospective cohort study was conducted among visceral leishmaniasis patients admitted to the University of Gondar comprehensive specialized referral hospital leishmaniasis research and treatment centre between September 2013 and August 2018. Hematological profiles were extracted from the laboratory registration book before and after treatment. Data were entered to Epi-info and exported to SPSS for analysis. Descriptive statistics were summarized using frequency and percentage to present with the table. The mean, standard deviation, median, and interquartile range were used to present the data. Furthermore, using the paired t-test and the Wilcoxon Signed rank test, the mean difference for normally and non-normally distributed data was compared. Spearman and Pearson correlation analysis were used to describe the relationship between hematological parameters and various variables. A P value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Result: With the exception of the absolute neutrophil count, all post-treatment hematological parameters show a significant increase when compared to pre-treatment levels. Prior to treatment, the prevalence of anemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia was 85.5, 83.4, and 75.8%, respectively, whereas it was 58.3, 38.2, and 19.2% following treatment. Furthermore, parasite load was found to have a statistically significant negative correlation with hematological profiles, specifically with white blood cell and red blood cell parameters.

Conclusion: According to our findings, patients with visceral leishmaniasis had improved hematological profiles after treatment. The effect of treatment on parasite proliferation and concentration within visceral organs, in which the parasite load could directly affect the patient's hematological profiles, may be associated with the change in hematological profiles.

Keywords: -Hematological parameter; Anti- leishmanial drugs; Gondar; Northwest Ethiopia; Visceral leishmaniasis.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Leishmania*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / drug therapy
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / epidemiology
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations