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Single-dose liposomal amphotericin B for visceral leishmaniasis in India.

Author(s): Sundar S, Chakravarty J, Agarwal D, Rai M, Murray HW

Affiliation(s): Kala-Azar Medical Research Center, Department of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. drshyamsundar@hotmail.com

Publication date & source: 2010-02-11, N Engl J Med., 362(6):504-12.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Some 50% of patients with visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) worldwide live in the Indian state of Bihar. Liposomal amphotericin B is an effective treatment when administered in short courses. We wanted to determine whether the efficacy of a single infusion of liposomal amphotericin B was inferior to conventional parenteral therapy, consisting of 15 alternate-day infusions of amphotericin B deoxycholate. METHODS: In this open-label study, we randomly assigned 412 patients in a 3:1 ratio to receive either liposomal amphotericin B (liposomal-therapy group) or amphotericin B deoxycholate (conventional-therapy group). Liposomal amphotericin B (at a dose of 10 mg per kilogram of body weight) was given once, and patients were discharged home 24 hours later. Amphotericin B deoxycholate, which was administered in 15 infusions of 1 mg per kilogram, was given every other day during a 29-day hospitalization. We determined the cure rate 6 months after treatment. RESULTS: A total of 410 patients--304 of 304 patients (100%) in the liposomal-therapy group and 106 of 108 patients (98%) in the conventional-therapy group--had apparent cure responses at day 30. Cure rates at 6 months were similar in the two groups: 95.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 93.4 to 97.9) in the liposomal-therapy group and 96.3% (95% CI, 92.6 to 99.9) in the conventional-therapy group. Adverse events in the liposomal-therapy group were infusion-related fever or rigors (in 40%) and increased anemia or thrombocytopenia (in 2%); such events in the conventional-therapy group were fever or rigors (in 64%), increased anemia (in 19%), and hypokalemia (in 2%). Nephrotoxicity or hepatotoxicity developed in no more than 1% of patients in each group. CONCLUSIONS: A single infusion of liposomal amphotericin B was not inferior to and was less expensive than conventional therapy with amphotericin B deoxycholate. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00628719.) 2010 Massachusetts Medical Society

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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