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Panminerva Medica 2014 March;56(1):73-83


lingua: Inglese

Lymphogranuloma venereum: an old, forgotten re-emerging systemic disease

Dal Conte I. 1, Mistrangelo M. 2, Cariti C. 3, Chiriotto M. 1, Lucchini A. 1, Vigna M. 1, Morino M. 2, Di Perri G. 4

1 STI Clinic, Infectious Diseases Department Amedeo di Savoia Hospital, ASL TO2, Turin, Italy; 2 Department of Digestive and Colorectal Surgery Centre of Minimal Invasive Surgery San Giovanni Battista Hospital University of Turin, Italy; 3 Dermatologic Clinic, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Turin, Italy; 4 Infectious Diseases Clinic, University of Turin, Italy


Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection endemic in parts of Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, but once was rarely observed in Western countries, where most cases were considered to be imported. However, recent outbreaks have been reported in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, mainly among HIV positive men who have sex with men, signaling LGV re-emergence. The etiological agent of LGV is Chlamydia trachomatis serotypes L1, L2 and L3, and current outbreaks are mostly sustained by L2b type. The clinical course can be classically divided into three stages: an initial papule, which may ulcerate at the site of inoculation, followed by regional lymphoadenopathy (second stage, generally unilateral). In the tertiary stage, lymphatic obstruction, with elephantiasis of genitalia, and rectal involvement can lead to the formation of strictures and fistulae that may require surgical treatment. Recent cases are observed mainly among HIV positive people, often co-infected with HCV and others STIs, engaging in high-risk sexual practices. The main clinical picture is a relative new entity characterized by progressive ulcerative proctitis, the so called anorectal syndrome. Diagnosis is often delayed, requires a high index of clinical suspicion and must rely on the use of nucleic acid amplification tests. The differential diagnosis of proctitis should include LGV infection. Gastroenterologists, coloproctologists, dermatologists and other specialists need to be aware of LGV proctitis to avoid diagnostic delay and progression of disease to the tertiary stage.

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