What Is LGV (Lymphogranuloma Venereum)?

LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by three strains of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The visual signs include genital papule(s) (e.g., raised surface or bumps) and or ulcers, and swelling of the lymph glands in the genital area. LGV may also produce rectal ulcers, bleeding, pain, and discharge, especially among those who practice receptive anal intercourse. Genital lesions caused by LGV can be mistaken for other ulcerative STDs such as syphilis, genital herpes, and chancroid. Complications of untreated LGV may include enlargement and ulcerations of the external genitalia and lymphatic obstruction, which may lead to elephantiasis of the genitalia.

Clinical resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2006. MMWR 2006;55(no. RR-11).

Lymphogranuloma Venereum Among Men Who Have Sex with Men -- Netherlands, 2003-2004. MMWR, October 29, 2004.

Perine, PL, Stann, WE. Lymphogranuloma venereum. In: K. Holmes, P. Sparling, P. Mardh et al (eds). Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 3rd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999, p. 423-432.

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