A 6 day course of liposomal amphotericin B in the treatment of infantile visceral leishmaniasis: the Italian experience

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Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate in a retrospective analysis the efficacy and safety of a 6 day course of liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) in infantile cases of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis (VL) diagnosed over a 10 year period in Italy.

Patients and methods

Patients included were diagnosed as having VL consecutively admitted from December 1992 to December 2001 at four main referral children's hospitals in Italy and treated with six intravenous doses of 3 mg/kg L-AmB given on days 1–5 and 10 (a total dose of 18 mg/kg). Demographic data, nutritional status, underlying diseases, clinical and laboratory findings, and therapy outcome were considered.

Results

A total of 164 HIV-negative children (median age 1.6 years; range 4 months to 14 years) were enrolled. All patients were initially cured by the given treatment, and did not present adverse events related to drug infusion. Seven patients (4.3%) had a clinical and parasitological relapse 3–15 months after therapy. All relapses were successfully retreated with 3 mg/kg L-AmB for 10 consecutive days (a total dose of 30 mg/kg).

Conclusions

This study highlights the efficacy (>95%) and safety of the six dose L-AmB regimen and validates it as a first-line treatment for Mediterranean VL in children.

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