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The Burden of Histoid Leprosy in Post Elimination Era


Histoid leprosy is a rare variant of lepromatous leprosy, may occur de novo or may occur in cases earlier treated with dapsone monotherapy. Demographic, clinico-histopathological and treatment details of biopsy proven cases of histoid leprosy, collected retrospectively from the leprosy clinic of tertiary care hospital of SMS Medical College, Jaipur. During the study period of 5 years (2011-2016), 28 (2.98 %), patients had histoid leprosy among total 937 patients of leprosy. Most were in 21 – 40 years of age group with M: F ratio 2.5: 1. Histoid lesions developed with primary diagnosis of lepromatous leprosy in (71.4%) and de novo in (28.6%). Predominant site of involvement was upper extremity (85.7%) and most common presentation was subcutaneous nodules, Nerve thickening seen in (85.7%), and ulnar nerve being most common. Neuritis and disabilities were present in 6 and 16 patients respectively. Type 2 reaction seen in17.9% (5/28) patients. Biopsy and slit skin smear of all cases were done. Most (25/28) cases responded well to standard one-year multibacillary drug therapy (MDT), it had to be extended in three cases up to 2 years. Histoid leprosy may occur de novo or may be due to inadequate therapy, resistant strains, earlier dapsone monotherapy. Although India as whole has achieved leprosy elimination in January 2006, however new cases continue to be reported. Occurrence of histoid leprosy specially with changed morphology of the lesions and poor histopathological correlation needs to be investigated as these cases may be important source of infection even in low endemic situations.

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Journal Article
Gupta N
Mathur R
Sharma A
Paliwal V
Bhargava P
Mathur D