Wednesday, 3 November 2010

MRCP revision battle 41.4: Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis, also known as Weil's disease, is a disease caused by infection with the spirochaete leptospira interrogans.

It is classically caught from water contaminated with rat's urine, so suspect it as a diagnosis in those in questions who have recently fallen into rivers/out of rowing boats.

After a 2 to 20 day incubation period the patient develops:
  • fever
  • myalgia
  • cough/haemoptysis
  • headache

The patient then either makes a good recovery or develops:
  • meningitis
  • jaundice
  • renal failure (50%)

Treatment is with penicillin/amoxicillin/doxycycline.

Lets move on to some conversions...