Children and cutaneous leishmaniasis: a clinical report and review
Introduction: Mashhad, located in north-east Iran, is one of the most important regions for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) due to Leishmania tropica. Children account for 7-10% of the infected population in the endemic areas. Despite the high sensitivity and susceptibility of this age group, no comprehensive study has yet investigated the clinical characteristics and demographic data in children in our region. Therefore, we aimed to study the clinical features and demographic information in children visiting the Leishmania clinic of two main teaching hospitals.
Methodology: In a cross-sectional study all the required data were gathered from the children’s records available at the cutaneous leishmaniasis clinics of Ghaem and Imam Reza hospitals during October 2008 to September 2011. Data included the patient’s age, sex, lesion chronicity and distribution, the clinical features, and the involved body parts. Descriptive statistical tests and SPSS version 11.5 were used for data analyses.
Results: Among the 8,801 studied files, 689 (7%) were related to children under the age of 13. Female to male ratio was 0.9 with the highest prevalence in the 6-9 year age group. Regarding disease chronicity, the most common types were acute cases with a 71% prevalence rate. The face was the most involved body part (77.2%) and papules with 37% prevalence were the most common type of lesions seen.
Conclusion: Childhood cutaneous leishmaniasis accounts for a major portion of CL in north-east Iran, has no apparent sex preference, and its clinical spectrum does not remarkably differ from that of adult CL.
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