Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an emerging zoonosis disease that is endemic
in the northwestern and southern part of Iran. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical
characteristics and laboratory findings of the children with VL hospitalized at Children Medical
Center Hospital (CMC), Tehran, Iran.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed based on studied medical records of children with
a final diagnosis of VL from 2011 to 2016. For each patient’s demographics, clinical laboratory
findings and treatment were examined.
Results: The clinical features of 17 children were examined and the most frequent symptoms were
fever (94.1%, n=16), pallor, loss of appetite (76.5%, n=13), splenomegaly (82.4%, n=14) and hepatomegaly
(58.8%, n=10). The most frequent laboratory abnormalities were hematological including
anemia (94.1%, n=16), leukopenia (52.9%, n=9) and thrombocytopenia (70.5%, n=12). In
order to detect anti-Leishmania antibodies, DAT was performed in 11 patients and 82% of them
were positive (titers ≥ 1: 3200). In addition, rK39 was used in 9 cases and 7 children (78%) had
positive results. Direct parasitology revealed the presence of amastigotes of Leishmania in bone
marrow aspirate (BMA) stained by Giemsa stain in 9 patients (69%, among 13 children).
Conclusion: Leishmaniasis is a regional disease therefore management and control of disease,
particularly in an endemic area, as well as detection of new emerging foci are recommended.