Comparative cytomorphology of skin, lymph node, liver and bone marrow in patients with lepromatous leprosy.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the cytological changes in skin, lymph nodes, liver and bone marrow in patients with lepromatous leprosy.
METHODS: Skin lesion, lymph node, liver and bone marrow aspirates were analysed. May-Grunwald-Giemsa (MGG) and Ziehl-Neelsen (Z-N) stains were employed. Comparative cytomorphology was studied.
RESULTS: Twenty patients with lepromatous leprosy were studied. Lepra cells (LC) predominated in the skin aspirates of 12 patients with lepromatous leprosy (LL), lymphocytes accompanied LC in eight patients with borderline-lepromatous (BL) leprosy. Three patients of LL leprosy and two of BL leprosy in type 2 reaction additionally had numerous neutrophils. Two patterns of lymph node aspirates were seen: partial replacement with few LC in a reactive lymphoid background (10), complete replacement with either only LC or LC in a background of degenerating neutrophils (10), the latter a feature of type 2 reaction. Liver aspiration was performed in seven patients and of bone marrow in eight patients. Occasional LC were present in five liver-aspirated patients, steatosis and Kupffer cell hyperplasia in four patients, and myelopoiesis in two patients. Bone marrow smears invariably had occasional LC and a relative increase in mature plasma cells; sea-blue histiocytes were seen in six patients.
CONCLUSION: Lepra cells predominated in skin and lymph node aspirates with complete replacement. In comparison, liver, bone marrow and lymph node aspirates with partial replacement were dominated by a preponderance of cells native to these organs with only few or occasional LC.