Efficacy of short-duration (twice weekly) intralesional sodium stibogluconate in treatment of cutaneous Leishmaniasis in India.Br J Dermatol. 2010 Oct; 163(4):854-8.BJ
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is caused by Leishmania major and L. tropica in the old world. Bikaner, the 'Thar Desert', situated in the north-western corner of India, is an endemic pocket for CL caused by L. tropica. Skin lesions of CL heal slowly, causing disfiguring scars if remaining untreated. Current recommended treatment for CL comprises systemic administration of sodium stibogluconate (SSG) for 2-3 weeks. Five to seven injections of SSG intralesionally have also been found to be effective.
To determine the efficacy of a short-duration, twice-weekly intralesional SSG treatment for CL.
Two hundred and twenty patients with CL having 298 lesions were included in the present study. They were divided into groups A and B (110 patients each). Patients were treated with five to seven intralesional injections of SSG in doses of 50 mg cm(-2) of lesion either once (group A) or twice (group B) weekly. Improvement was recorded at 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 24 weeks and the rate of complete cure was compared.
Complete cure rate at 6, 8 and 10 weeks was higher (20%, 57% and 73%, respectively) in group B as compared with group A (12%, 36% and 62%, respectively). The differences in cure rates at these time points were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The complete cure rate at 24 weeks was similar in both groups (96% in group B and 92% in group A). The remaining 4% and 8% of patients in groups B and A were 'nonresponders', respectively. No major side-effects were observed in either group. In all cured cases, there were no relapses reported up to 2 years after treatment.
A short-duration, twice-weekly intralesional SSG treatment for CL accelerates cure and is highly effective and well tolerated.