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Marchetti F , Piessens WF , Medeiros Z , Dreyer G .

ABNORMALITIES OF THE LEG LYMPHATICS ARE NOT SPECIFIC FOR BANCROFTIAN FILARIASIS.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1998 Nov-Dec;92(6):650-2.

ABSTRACT

Studies using conventional angiography or non-invasive scintigraphy have revealed widespread abnormalities in the lymphatics of the legs of patients with bancroftian filariasis, regardless of whether clinical lymphoedema is present. To determine if the observed changes were specific for filarial infections, we imaged the lymphatics of both legs in native residents of an area in Brazil where filariasis is not endemic. Study participants were matched by age, socioeconomic status and physical activities to patients with filariasis in Recife, evaluated in parallel. Based on textbook criteria, only one of 15 study participants had a completely normal lymphoscintigram. Modest to severe pathology of the leg lymphatics was observed in the remaining 14 residents of the non-endemic area and in 49 of 50 patients with bancroftian filariasis. These results indicated that factors other than filarial worms are a common cause of subclinical pathology of the leg lymphatics in north-eastern Brazil, and that the latter is not specific for bancroftian filariasis.