Volume 53, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Enlarged regional lymph nodes have been reported to accompany the cutaneous lesions of (= ). A survey in Ceara State, Brazil indicated that 77% of persons (456 of 595) with parasitologically confirmed cutaneous leishmaniasis reported lymphadenopathy in addition to skin lesions. A group of 169 persons with recently diagnosed leishmaniasis and lymph nodes measuring ≥ 2 cm in diameter (mean = 3.6 cm, maximum = 10.5 cm) underwent detailed clinical examination. Lymphadenopathy preceded the skin lesions in more than two-thirds of these, on the average by two weeks. Cultures of lymph node aspirates yielded more frequently (86%) than cultures of aspirates of skin (53%) or biopsies of skin (74%). Parasites were isolated from the peripheral blood of one patient. Persons with lymphadenopathy gave a history of fever and had enlarged livers or spleens more often than a comparison group of 50 persons with cutaneous lesions but no lymphadenopathy. Persons with lymphadenopathy had more intense leishmanin skin reactions and lymphocyte proliferation following stimulation with specific antigens, whereas persons without lymphadenopathy had a higher frequency of previous infection. Isolates of parasites from both groups were identified as . These data demonstrate the early spread of beyond the skin and suggest differences in host immunity between persons with and without lymphadenopathy. should be considered in cases of unexplained lymphadenopathy in endemic areas.


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