Schistosoma mansoni infection in a recently exposed community in Senegal: lack of correlation between liver morphology in ultrasound and connective tissue metabolites in serum

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Four hundred and seventy villagers of Ndombo, a village with recently established intensive transmission of Schistosoma mansoni in the Senegal River Basin, were enrolled in a study with the intention to assess hepatosplenic morbidity. All patients were examined parasitologically and by ultrasound. Hepatic fibrosis serum markers were determined in 153 adult patients (aminoterminal propeptide of procollagen type III, hyaluronan and laminin). By ultrasound, about 60% of the patients showed early stages of hepatic involvement, 3% of the patients unequivocally showed severe hepatosplenic pathology (grade 3 according to the Managil classification), whereas in another study performed in the same village 3 years earlier, no patients with severe hepatosplenic pathology had been found. No correlation between the aminoterminal propeptide of procollagen type III, hyaluronan or laminin and the ultrasound findings could be established. These hepatic fibrosis serum markers do not seem to be a sensitive method to detect early hepatic fibrosis in schistosomiasis.

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