Randomised controlled trial of aminosidine (paromomycin) v sodium stibogluconate for treating visceral leishmaniasis in North Bihar, India

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Abstract

Objectives

To assess the efficacy and tolerability of aminosidine compared with sodium stibogluconate for treating visceral leishmaniasis.

Design

Randomised, unblinded, controlled trial with 180 day follow up.

Setting

Kala-Azar Research Centre, Brahmpura, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India.

Subjects

People of either sex aged 6-50 years with symptoms and signs suggestive of visceral leishmaniasis (fever, loss of appetite, enlarged spleen) with leishmania amastigotes detected in Giemsa stained aspirates of spleen or bone marrow.

Interventions

Aminosidine at three daily doses (12, 16, and 20 mg/kg) for 21 days and sodium stibogluconate 20 mg/kg/day for 30 days.

Main outcome measures

Laboratory measures of efficacy: parasite count, haemoglobin concentration, white cell count, platelet count, serum albumin concentration. Clinical measures of efficacy: spleen size, fever, body weight, and liver size. Measures of safety: liver and renal function tests, reports of adverse events.

Results

Of the 120 patients enrolled (30 per treatment arm), 119 completed treatment and follow up. Cure at end of follow up was achieved in 23 (77%), 28 (93%), and 29 (97%) patients treated with 12, 16, and 20 mg aminosidine/kg/day respectively, and in 19 (63%) patients given sodium stibogluconate. At 16 and 20 mg/kg/day, aminosidine was significantly more active than sodium stibogluconate in both clinical and laboratory measures of efficacy. No significant clinical or laboratory toxicity occurred in any treatment group.

Conclusions

A 21 day course of aminosidine 16 or 20 mg/kg/day should be considered as first line treatment for visceral leishmaniasis in Bihar.

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