How is post–kala-azar leishmaniasis (PKDL) characterized?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

The term kala-azar—which means black (kala) fever (azar) in Hindi—is reserved for severe (advanced) cases of visceral leishmaniasis, although the terms kala-azar and visceral leishmaniasis sometimes are used interchangeably. [2]

Post–kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a syndrome characterized by skin lesions that develop at variable intervals after (or during) therapy for visceral leishmaniasis. [2] This condition is best described in cases of L donovani infection in South Asia and East Africa. In general, post–kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis is more common, develops earlier, and is less chronic in patients in East Africa. [2]


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