Fine needle aspiration cytology in diagnosis of pure neuritic leprosy.
Leprosy is a chronic infection affecting mainly the skin and peripheral nerve. Pure neuritic form of this disease manifests by involvement of the nerve in the absence of skin lesions. Therefore, it can sometimes create a diagnostic problem. It often requires a nerve biopsy for diagnosis, which is an invasive procedure and may lead to neural deficit. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of an affected nerve can be a valuable and less invasive procedure for the diagnosis of such cases. We report five suspected cases of pure neuritic Hansen's disease involving the common and superficial peroneal, ulnar, and median nerve, who underwent FNAC. Smears revealed nerve fibers infiltrated by chronic inflammatory cells in all cases, presence of epithelioid cells granulomas, and Langhans giant cells in three cases, and acid fast bacilli in two cases. In conclusion, FNAC is a safe, less invasive, and time saving procedure for the diagnosis of pure neuritic leprosy.