Background Current treatment recommendations for lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) are for 21 days of doxycycline but the evidence is limited.
Aims To describe clinical outcomes in MSM treated with short-course doxycycline for rectal Chlamydia, subsequently proven to be LGV.
Methods We reviewed all MSM who received 7–14 days of doxycycline but tested positive for LGV between Dec 2012 – Jan 2016. Clinical features and test of cure (TOC) results were tabulated.
Results Thirty-three MSM with LGV were included. Median age was 35 (range 25–57), 88% were HIV positive and all tested positive for LGV-specific DNA in the rectum. Only 18/33 (55%) had ano-rectal symptoms including pain, bleeding, tenesmus, discharge, constipation, diarrhoea and ulceration. The remainder were asymptomatic or had genital symptoms. 24/33 (73%) were treated with 7 days of doxycycline, 8 (25%) with 14 days, and 1 patient received azithromycin 1g stat; 20 patients also received ceftriaxone 500mg. 100% (32/32) of patients treated with doxycycline had a negative TOC at a median 28 days (range 14–200). Of these, 1 patient had an initial positive rectal chlamydia TOC but this was LGV negative. The patient treated with azithromycin had a positive TOC at 24 days and remained symptomatic, representing treatment failure.
Discussion/conclusion This case series suggests efficacy for short-course doxycycline for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rectal LGV with no treatment failures seen. Current BASHH Chlamydia guidelines suggest 21 days of doxycycline should be considered if no LGV test is done. Our data suggest this is not warranted but further prospective studies are needed.
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