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Ear, Nose, Throat, and Mouth Alterations in Hansen’s Disease


Early diagnosis of Hansen’s disease is important to prevent disabilities. Involvement of ear-nose-throat (ENT) and mouth may occur in the earliest stage of the disease, and evaluation of these areas is essential in the diagnosis and treatment of Hansen’s disease. The most common signs and symptoms in these areas are those related to the nose, such as chronic rhinitis, while periodontal disease and dental loss also often occur. Long-term ENT-mouth involvement in untreated multibacillary forms of Hansen’s disease leads to the highest rates of facial alterations. Definitive facial lesions may occur such as perforation of the nasal septum, saddle nose, and rhinomaxillary syndrome. In paucibacillary forms of Hansen’s disease, ENT-mouth involvement is less commonly seen. However, regardless of the initial form of Hansen’s disease, a multidisciplinary clinical approach and systematic evaluation of patients for ENT-mouth involvement is essential in any stage of Hansen’s disease.

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