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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Pathophysiology and treatment.

HSS represents a special model of intrahepatic portal hypertension characterized by a presinusoidal portal block and a well-preserved liver parenchyma. Symmers' fibrosis appears in a small but significant proportion of patients with a high worm load. Its pathogenesis is not well established, although experimental and clinical studies point to egg granulomata as the main pathogenetic factor. The eggs carried continuously through the portal circulation produce inflammation and gross amputation of the intrahepatic veins, portal and periportal granulomas, and, eventually, a coarse perilobular fibrosis ("pipe-stem"). Portal hypertension, esophageal varices, and hepatosplenomegaly are the main consequences of these morphologic changes. Gastrointestinal bleeding is the most frequent cause of death. Unlike in cirrhosis, advanced liver failure is not seen except when HSS is associated with liver lesions from other causes such as virus and alcoholism. Helminthiasis treatment is based on chemotherapy with praziquantel or oxamniquine. Bleeding esophageal varices are managed by sclerotherapy or surgical procedures. Splenectomy with gastroesophageal devascularization seems to be the best choice.[1]


  1. Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Pathophysiology and treatment. Da Silva, L.C., Carrilho, F.J. Gastroenterol. Clin. North Am. (1992) [Pubmed]
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