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 CASE REPORT
CytoJournal 2017,  14:9

Indian visceral leishmaniasis with extensive lymphadenopathy – An unusual presentation: A case report with literature review


1 Department of Pathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Poojan Agarwal
Department of Pathology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1742-6413.205312

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Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, is a life-threatening systemic disease caused by the obligate intracellular protozoan, Leishmania, and transmitted to humans by the female phlebotomine sand fly (Phlebotomus argentipes). The disease is fatal, if left untreated. We report a case of a patient clinically suspected of disseminated tuberculosis, but fine needle aspiration cytology of cervical and axillary lymph nodes yielded a diagnosis of leishmaniasis. Diagnosis of VL was challenging as the disease closely mimicked tuberculosis in the setting of extensive lymphadenopathy including conglomerate of mesenteric lymph nodes, on and off fever, and granulomatous lymphadenitis on aspiration. Bone marrow examination was further performed. A detailed workup revealed patient to be severely immunocompromised and newly diagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive. Worldwide, India has the largest number of VL cases, accounting for 40%–50% of world's disease burden and the second largest HIV-infected population, accounting for approximately 10% of the global disease burden. HIV increases the risk of developing VL by 100–2320 times in endemic areas and concurrently VL promotes the clinical progression of HIV disease. Co-infection with HIV alters the body's immune response to leishmaniasis thus leading to unusual presentations. This case highlights the diagnostic problem in the aforesaid setting. Moreover, co-infection with HIV in VL can be a potential source of drug resistance. An early diagnosis and intensified treatment is the key to patient management.






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