What is the prognosis of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis?

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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Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis is chronic and progressive. This form of the disease affects the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and soft palate, and it is especially debilitating and destructive, resulting in extensive midfacial mutilation. Death can occur from secondary infection and after respiratory tract mucosal invasion. Respiratory compromise and dysphagia may lead to malnutrition and pneumonia.

The general consensus is that less than 5% of individuals infected by L brasiliensis, and a smaller percentage of individuals infected by L panamensis and L guyanensis, develop mucosal metastases several months to years after the apparent resolution of cutaneous disease. However, no rigorous studies prove this commonly accepted rate.

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