Organometric Investigations of the Spleen and Liver by Ultrasound in Schistosoma mansoni Endemic and Nonendemic Villages in Senegal

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  • Institut Pasteur de Lille, Department of Medicine I, Hematology/Oncology, University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, District Sanitaire de Richard Toll and Region Medicale de Saint Louis, Department of Parasitology, University of Leiden, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Interdisziplinaeres Therapiezentrum Feldberg, Lille, France

With the intention of ultrasonographically assessing hepatosplenic morbidity in Schistosoma mansoni infection and of validating the grading system applied (Cairo classification), 191 subjects in a schistosomiasis endemic village and 247 controls from a nonendemic village in northern Senegal underwent sonographic examination of the liver and spleen. Measurements of the diameters of the peripheral periportal vein branches, the main portal vein stem, liver size (left lobe and right lobe), and spleen length in the endemic village were compared with those in the nonendemic village to evaluate the much discussed influence of S. mansoni infection on those variables. To subtract this presumed influence from reference values for the named variables, they are given as measured in the nonendemic village, stratified by body weight, enabling future investigators on schistosomiasis-induced morbidity to refer to these reference values. The 95th percentile regarding peripheral periportal vein branch diameter in the control groups was exceeded in 24% of the subjects in the endemic group. It was exceeded by 6% for the main portal vein stem diameter, 13% for the left liver lobe, 12% for the right liver lobe, and 14% for the spleen length. According to the Cairo classification, 97% of the endemic population and 81% of the controls had periportal thickening of the liver, mostly grade I. We conclude that 1) hepatic morbidity in the S. mansoni endemic area was low, despite strikingly high intensities of infection; 2) the Cairo classification in its present form overestimates periportal thickening, especially in the case of mild morbidity; and 3) body height-dependent reference values, obtained from endemic controls, must be applied for organometric parameters.