Is slit-skin smear an alternate to histopathology in the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis?

Asher Ahmed Mashhood, Salman Ahmad, Muhammad Mumtaz Malik


Objective To determine how effective is slit-skin smear as a diagnostic test in comparison with the histopathology.


Methods This was a validation study, carried out in Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Kohat from 1st September 2011 to 30th June 2012. The study population was the patients who were clinically diagnosed as cutaneous leishmaniasis. Slit-skin smears were performed in all and a biopsy was sent for histopathology. The results were analyzed by cross tabs and chi square test. 


Results A total of 50 patients were included. They were all adult males. Leishman-Donovan (LD) bodies were seen in histopathology slides in 31 patients (62%) and were not detected in 19 patients (38%). The slit-smear showed LD bodies in 18 smears (36%) and negative in 32 smears (64%) [p=0.048].


Conclusion Histopathology is statistically superior investigation than slit-skin smear in the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis.



Cutaneous leishmaniasis, slit-skin smear, histopathology, Leishman-Donovan bodies

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