Clinical Intestinal Amebiasis

A Study of 400 Cases from Charity Hospital at New Orleans

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  • Departments of Tropical Medicine and Medicine, Louisiana State University Medical Center and the State Charity Hospital at New Orleans, Louisiana
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An analysis of 400 cases presenting clinical manifestations of intestinal amebiasis from the State Charity Hospital of Louisiana at New Orleans is presented. Among the etiological factors of importance, it was found that males predominated over females in the ratio of 4 to 1. Colored females constituted the lowest incidence (4.5 per cent of the series). The average age was 35.9 years. There appears to be no seasonal variation regarding either the month of onset of symptoms or the month of admission to the hospital. A rather definite endemic focus of infection is located in the southwestern portion of the State of Louisiana. Other familial infection was indicated in ten of the histories.

The subjective symptomatology has been analyzed in some detail. Over 27 per cent gave a history of duration of symptoms of from one to three months; a similar number gave a duration exceeding one year, the maximum being thirty-five years. Of the series 88.5 per cent had diarrhea and 70 per cent a bloody diarrhea, 69 per cent had four or more stools per day, abdominal pain was present in 57 per cent of the cases.

Physical examination revealed abdominal tenderness on palpation in 42 per cent, the liver enlarged or tender in 7.7 per cent, and 12 cases or 3 per cent developed liver abscess. The highest temperature was above 99.2°F. in 40 per cent of the series.

In 261 cases, stool examination was performed and found positive in 212, proctoscopic examination was done in 299 cases and trophozoites demonstrated in 252 of these. Eight deaths occurred in the series but only 6 of these were directly attributable to intestinal amebiasis.

Author Notes

Read at the Thirty–Second Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine, at Baltimore, Maryland, November 18, 19 and 20, 1936.

The writers are indebted to the Superintendent of Charity Hospital for permission to analyze these records.