Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



causes cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Sri Lanka. Standard treatment is multiple, painful doses of intralesional sodium stibogluconate (IL-SSG). Treatment failures are increasingly reported, hence the need to investigate alternatives. Efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of thermotherapy were assessed for the first time for . CL. A single blinded noninferiority randomized controlled trial was conducted on new laboratory-confirmed CL patients with single lesions ( = 213). Selected patients were randomly assigned to 1) test group ( = 98; single session of radiofrequency-induced heat therapy (RFHT) given at 50°C for 30 seconds) and 2) control group ( = 115; 1–3 mL IL-SSG given weekly, until cure/10 doses). Patients were followed-up fortnightly for 12 weeks to assess clinical cure. Cost of treatment was assessed using scenario building technique. Cure rates by 8, 10, and 12 weeks in RFHT group were 46.5%, 56.5%, and 65.9% as opposed to 28%, 40.8%, and 59.4% in IL-SSG group, with no major adverse events. Cure rate by RFHT was significantly higher at 8 weeks ( = 0.009, odds ratio [OR]: 2.236, confidence interval [CI]: 1.217–4.108) and 10 weeks ( = 0.035, OR: 1.881, CI: 1.044–3.388), but comparable thereafter. Cost of RFHT was 7 times less (USD = 1.54/patient) than IL-SSG (USD = 11.09/patient). A single application of RFHT is safe, cost-effective, and convenient, compared with multiple doses of IL-SSG in the treatment of CL. Therefore, RFHT would be considered noninferior as per trial outcome when compared with standard IL-SSG therapy with multiple benefits for the patient and the national health care system.


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  • Received : 08 Nov 2016
  • Accepted : 02 Jul 2017

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