Volume 96, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is associated with interstitial pneumonitis according to histology and radiology reports. However, studies to address the functional impact on respiratory function in patients are lacking. We assessed pulmonary function using noninvasive spirometry in a cross-sectional study of hospitalized adult VL patients from Minas Gerais, Brazil, without unrelated lung conditions or acute infections. Lung conditions were graded as normal, restrictive, obstructive, or mixed patterns, according to Brazilian consensus standards for spirometry. To control for regional patterns of lung function, we compared spirometry of patients with regional paired controls. Spirometry detected abnormal lung function in most VL patients (70%, 14/20), usually showing a restrictive pattern, in contrast to regional controls and the standards for normal tests. Alterations in spirometry measurements correlated with hypoalbuminemia, the only laboratory value indicative of severity of parasitic disease. Abnormalities did not correlate with unrelated factors such as smoking or occupation. Clinical data including pulmonary symptoms and duration of therapy were also unrelated to abnormal spirometry findings. We conclude that the severity of VL is correlated with a restrictive pattern of lung function according to spirometry, suggesting that there may be interstitial lung involvement in VL. Further studies should address whether spirometry could serve as an index of disease severity in the management of VL.


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  • Received : 07 Apr 2016
  • Accepted : 19 Oct 2016
  • Published online : 08 Feb 2017

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