Skip to main content

Drug-resistant childhood visceral leishmaniasis. Is splenectomy a solution?


Kala-azar is predominantly a disease of children below the age of 15 years in Asia and other endemic areas of the world. A series of seven drug-resistant cases, six of which underwent elective splenectomy, is presented and the potential value of splenectomy in this subset of cases is discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    Alvares D (1910) Um Caso de Kala-azar infantil em Lisoba. Med Contemp XXVIII 90–91 (Kala-azar Bulletin, 95, 1912)

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Burchenal JH, Bowers RI, Haedicke IA (1947) Visceral leishmaniasis complicated by severe anemia — improvement following splenectomy. Am J Trop Med 27: 699–709

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Franklin AN (1990) Immunotherapy for parasitic disease. N Engl J Med 322: 55–57

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Jha TK (1983) Evaluation of diamidine compound (pentamidine isethionate) in the treatment of resistant cases of kala-azar occuring in North Bihar, India. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 77: 167–170

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Manson-Bahr PEC (1959) East African kala-azar with special references to the pathology, prophylaxis, and treatment. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 53: 123–127

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Marinkelle CJ (1980) The control of leishmaniasis. Bull World Health Organ 58: 807–818

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Mitchell A, Morris PJ (1983) Surgery of the spleen. Clin Haematol 12: 565–590

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Napier LE (1949) Splenectomy in the treatment of kala-azar. J Trop Med Hyg 52: 243–248

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Rees PH, Kages PA, Kyambi JM, Ayim EN, Bhatt KM, Eeftinck JKM (1984) Splenectomy in kala-azar. Trop Geogr Med 36: 285–292

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Report of a WHO expert committee — The leishmaniasis (1984) World Health Organ Tech Report Series 701: 9–140

  11. 11.

    Singh MP, Mishra M, Khan AB, et al (1989) Gold treatment for kala-azar. Br Med J 299: 1318

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to B. Mukhopadhyay.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mukhopadhyay, B., Sarkar, A.K., Dasgupta, A. et al. Drug-resistant childhood visceral leishmaniasis. Is splenectomy a solution?. Pediatr Surg Int 8, 314–315 (1993).

Download citation

Key words

  • Kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis)
  • Splenectomy