Ultrasonographic and Serologic Abnormalities in Schistosoma Japonicum Infection in Leyte, the Philippines

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  • Institutes of Basic Medical Sciences and Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Kofu City Hospital, Schistosomiasis Control and Research Service, Schistosomiasis Hospital, Tsukuba, Japan
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We have identified specific ultrasonographic changes in Schistosoma japonicum—infected patients associated with serologic indicators of general liver function. An ultrasonographic examination concomitant with hematologic and biochemical serum analyses was performed on 102 patients at the Schistosomiasis Hospital in Leyte, The Philippines. The ultrasonographic liver images were classified into four patterns, according to the development of periportal fibrosis and the patterns of echogenic bands. Eleven cases with a long-term infection showed typical septal formation (network pattern). Other ultrasonographic changes in the portal system, such as the severity of splenomegaly, did not correlate with the age of the study patients or the duration of their infection; however, the production of collateral vessels was clear in the group of older patients. Among various hematologic and biochemical serum indicators of liver damage, the serum levels of total bile acid (TBA) and procollagen-III-peptide (P-III-P) strongly correlated with the development of hepatic fibrosis and portal hypertension. These findings suggest that the ultrasonographic liver patterns classified here, along with the changes in serum levels of TBA and P-III-P, provide useful indicators for field monitoring of S. japonicum infection.