Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis in Nepal.
BACKGROUND: Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) manifests as a skin eruption after healing of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), either spontaneously or as a result of treatment. This study was undertaken to describe the demographic, clinical, and histopathologic features of PKDL in Nepal.
METHODS: Demographic, clinical, microbiologic, and histopathologic features and response to treatment were studied in 22 patients with PKDL from April 1998 to March 2000.
RESULTS: PKDL accounted for 0.13% of all new dermatologic cases. There were 13 (59.1%) males and nine (40.9%) females. A past history of kala-azar was present in all but one patient. A family history of kala-azar was noted in eight (36.4%) patients. All patients presented with multiple types of lesion, except for two in whom only macular lesions were seen. Oral lesions in the form of nodules and plaques were seen in four patients. Generalized lymphadenopathy was present in five patients. Slit skin smears revealed Leishman-Donovan bodies (LDBs) in nine (40.9%) patients. In macular lesions, there was a sparse infiltrate of plasma cells, lymphocytes, or histiocytes in the upper dermis. There was a dense chronic inflammatory infiltrate comprising plasma cells, lymphocytes, histiocytes, and epithelioid cells in the entire dermis from papules, plaques, or nodules. Giemsa staining of biopsy specimens revealed LDBs in seven (38.9%) patients only. Fine needle aspiration from epitrochlear lymph nodes in two patients demonstrated LDBs. All patients responded well to treatment with minimal side-effects.
CONCLUSIONS: This study emphasizes the need to be aware of the possibility of cases of PKDL in endemic regions of leprosy, as the conditions may be difficult to distinguish clinically and histopathologically.