Volume 60, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Treatment with praziquantel reduces the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma mansoni infection. However, reversibility of periportal fibrosis of the liver, which potentially leads to fatal complications, is not unequivocally substantiated. In the Nile District of Uganda, 460 patients were parasitologically (Kato-Katz method) and ultrasonographically examined during October 1991, October 1992, and May 1994. Treatment with praziquantel at a dosage of 40 mg per kilogram of body weight was given in October 1991 and October 1992 to 460 individuals (group A). Another 192 patients were seen during the baseline study in October 1991 and missed the follow-up in October 1992 but took part in the second follow-up in May 1994. Thus, they received praziquantel only once in October 1991 (group B) and had an interval of 2.7 years until the next investigation in May 1994. Periportal thickening (PT) of the liver was assessed by ultrasound at each time point. Praziquantel therapy reduced the prevalence of S. mansoni in group A from 84% in 1991 to 31% in 1992 and 30% in 1994. The respective intensities of infection (geometric means of egg output) were 81 eggs per gram (epg) of stool in 1991, 31 epg in 1992, and 30 epg in 1994. Periportal thickening was found in 46% of patients in 1991, 32% of patients in 1992, and 35% of patients in 1994. Reversibility of PT was influenced by age (markedly lower reversibility in individuals older than 30 years) and sex (women and girls responded less favorably than did men and boys). Surprisingly, no significant difference was detected between group A and group B with respect to reversibility of PT The outcome between the 2 groups did not differ significantly. This may indicate that a single dose of praziquantel (as given to group B) may have a longer lasting effect than previously thought, that is, more than 2.5 years.


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