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Keywords:

  • schistosomiasis;
  • thrombocytemia;
  • thrombopoietin;
  • splenomegaly;
  • portal hypertension

Abstract:  Background:  In severe forms of cirrhosis reduced liver synthesis of thrombopoietin (Tpo) can contribute to thrombocytopenia. In the hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis, portal hypertension is the most evident clinical complication, although a deficiency of protein synthesis may be detected early. Our aim was to determine, for the first time in schistosomiasis, Tpo serum concentrations in patients with chronic forms of the disease.

Method:  Twenty-four patients with the pure form of schistosomiasis were studied; 13 had the hepatosplenic form (HE, with portal hypertension) and 11 had the hepatointestinal form (HI, without portal hypertension). Patients were HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HCV negative, and reported alcohol ingestion below 160 g/week.

Results:  The Tpo serum concentration, determined in 10 healthy volunteers, varied from undetectable (< 15 pg/mL) to 489 pg/mL (median 208 pg/mL). The HE and HI groups differed (p = 0.004) in regard to the prothrombin index, thrombocytemia and γ-glutamyltransferase but not in regard to Tpo (p = 0.622). No significant correlation was found between Tpo and the other parameters (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: The results suggest that Tpo serum concentration does not mirror and/or has no significant participation in the mechanisms responsible for the thrombocytopenia observed in schistosomiasis patients with splenomegaly and portal hypertension.