[Kala-azar acquired in Croatia].Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1992; 104(24):757-60.WK
Six weeks after his return from a two-week vacation in Croatia a 52 year-old janitor from Graz complained of loss of appetite, fever, headache, and a 9-kg weight loss. The spleen was enlarged to 16cm as measured by sonography. Laboratory tests revealed pancytopenia, a prolonged prothrombin time and elevation of serum LDH concentration. While repeated bone marrow biopsy showed no signs of leishmaniasis, high antibody titers against leishmania antigen led to the diagnosis of kala-azar. The indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (1:128) and a haemagglutination-inhibition test (1:512) showed diagnostic elevations of titers. Therapy with pentostam led to prompt defervescence and resulted in a full recovery of the patient. After six weeks a marked decrease of antibody titers in the haemagglutination-inhibition test (1:16) could be observed. Leishmaniasis has to be considered in patients with fever of unknown origin who return from Mediterranean countries. Despite a negative bone marrow biopsy a diagnosis is possible on the basis of serological tests. This is important because effective therapy is available as illustrated by this patient and because of the fact that the disease runs a lethal course if the diagnosis is missed.