Abnormal lymphatic function in presymptomatic bancroftian filariasis

Academic Article


  • Despite the common association of filarial infection with elephantiasis, the great majority of those infected are in fact clinically asymptomatic microfilariae carriers. The assumption has been that infection but not disease exists in these presymptomatic persons. In an area of Brazil where Wuchereria bancrofti is endemic, flow studies done with dynamic radionuclide lymphoscintigraphy were used to compare 30 limbs from asymptomatic microfilaremic subjects with 16 control limbs. Geometric mean values for T 1/2 (19.8 vs. 37.7 min; P <.001), appearance time (7.9 vs. 27.9 min; P <.001), percent uptake at the region of interest (0.67% vs. 0.14%; P <.001), and peak activity (62.6 vs. 2.6 cps; P <.001) each indicated an enhanced pattern of rapid, increased lymph flow in asymptomatic microfilaremic subjects. The abnormal lymphatic function in these subjects indicates that current passive intervention strategies may need to change if the debilitating sequelae of this parasitic infection are to be avoided. © 1995, by The University of Chicago.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Freedman DO; de Almeida Filho PJ; Besh S; Maia e Silva MC; Braga C; Maciel A; Furtado AF
  • Start Page

  • 997
  • End Page

  • 1001
  • Volume

  • 171
  • Issue

  • 4