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April 5, 1985

Diagnosis of Schistosomiasis

Author Affiliations

Medical Association of Kaiser Permanente Fort Worth, Tex

JAMA. 1985;253(13):1879. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370059019

To the Editor.—  In the article entitled "Acute Schistosomiasis Among Americans Rafting the Omo River, Ethiopia" Istre et al1 describe very clearly the features and natural course of "Katayama syndrome." They state that this stage occurs with Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum infections. This syndrome has also been described in Schistosoma haematobium infections.2-4This stage of the disease is usually considered to run a benign course, but more serious and varied manifestations may be present. Cardiac and cerebral complications have been described,2,3 as well as features of the Henoch-Schönlein syndrome.3 As the risk of schistosomiasis may now have to be seriously considered for visitors and American residents who have traveled abroad, it is well to note that examination of rectal mucosal biopsy specimens often leads to earlier diagnosis than stool and urine studies. This method of diagnosis is also very reliable in S haematobium, and, in