Demographic Characteristics besides Clinical and Laboratory Manifestations of Children with Visceral Leishmaniasis in Rasht, Northern Iran

Iran J Parasitol. 2023 Apr-Jun;18(2):229-236. doi: 10.18502/ijpa.v18i2.13189.


Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (Kala-azar) is an inherently dangerous and progressive disease that can be seen in many parts of the world, including Iran. Therefore, we decided to conduct this study on children with Kala-azar in Rasht-Iran.

Methods: In this descriptive study, the hospital records of all children with Kala-azar disease admitted to 17 Shahrivar Hospital, Rasht-Iran from 2009 to 2021 were reviewed. Required information were collected from patients' records and descriptive statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 24 statistical software.

Results: A total of 22 children with visceral leishmaniasis were admitted to 17 Shahrivar Hospital during the study period. The average age of the children was 2.93 ± 3.32 years. Most of them (59.1%) were boys and lived in the foothills (59.1%). The most common season for children to get the disease was spring (45.5%), and the average duration of the disease until hospitalization was 16.5 ± 13.54 days. In this study, the most common clinical manifestations included fever (90.9%), splenomegaly (77.3%), hepatomegaly (50%), weakness and restlessness (27.3%), and vomiting (18.2%). The most common laboratory findings were anemia (90.9%), leukopenia (59.1%), increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (75%), and increased C-reactive protein (CRP) (75%). 72.7% of the children were treated with liposomal amphotericin and others with glucantime, which were all successful.

Conclusion: The results of our studies were consistent with most studies in Iran and other countries. These findings can help in the diagnosis and management of children with Kalaazar and better control of the disease in the province.

Keywords: Child; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Iran; Kala azar; Visceral leishmaniasis.