Saturday, November 17, 2012

Genital elephantiasis due to donovanosis: forgotten but not gone yet ...

Genital elephantiasis due to donovanosis: forgotten but not gone yet ...

Nov 2012


Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India.


Genital elephantiasis is a disease that is characterized by massive enlargement of the genitalia. Early aetiological diagnosis is of paramount importance so that development of genital elephantiasis can be prevented; otherwise it is not completely reversible with medical therapy and often requires surgical intervention. Chronic mental distress and disability can result as it interferes with daily/routine activities of the affected individual. Over time, the infectious causes of genital elephantiasis have evolved, from syphilis in the pre-penicillin era to donovanosis, lymphogranuloma venereum and recently filariasis, tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, HIV and chromoblastomycosis. With a declining prevalence globally, donovanosis is at risk of being forgotten as a cause of genital swelling; however, it is known to persist for years without treatment and can lead to complications such as lymphoedema and genital mutilation. We herein present a case of genital elephantiasis that was eventually diagnosed as being due to donovanosis.

see also: 

Donovanosis (granuloma inguinale)