February 1984

Splenomegaly in Hmong Refugees

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, St Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (Drs Paulson and Holtan); the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis (Drs Paulson and Holtan); and the Department of Epidemiology, Division of Public Health, St Paul (Mss Duvall and Godes). Dr Paulson is currently with United Hospitals, St Paul.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(2):257-260. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350140057007

• We review asymptomatic splenomegaly in Indochinese refugees and provide recommendations for evaluation of the problem. Prevalence of splenomegaly in newly arrived Indo-chinese refugees was 2.5%, three times more prevalent in the Hmong than in the non-Hmong refugees. Male Hmong refugees aged 15 to 29 years had the highest prevalence (10%). For the 50 Hmong refugees studied, there was no evidence that their splenomegaly was caused by clonorchiasis, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, syphilis, lymphoma, tropical splenomegaly syndrome, or clinical malaria. Cases were more likely to have hepatomegaly, hepatitis B surface antigen positivity, and a low mean corpuscular volume than a reference population of Hmong refugees. Malaria antibody titers were elevated in all but one of the 41 cases (98%) tested.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:257-260)