Leprosy and the anesthesiologist.
PURPOSE: To discuss particular aspects of leprosy (complications treatment, special population) that have implications for anesthetic management in leprous patients scheduled for surgery.
SOURCE: MEDLINE and manual searches of relevant literature. Multiple MEDLINE searches (from 1966 onwards) were done, using LEPROSY as a common Medical Subject Heading (MeSH). Other headings used were: anesthesia, surgery, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, eye, skin, nervous system, genitalia, pathology, psychology and pregnancy. A large number of references were retrieved, but only 18 of them were relevant to our topic. Others were obtained by manual search and cross referencing.
PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Leprosy, especially lepromatous leprosy, is a systemic disease, affecting many organs and systems of the body, e.g., cardiovascular (cardiac dysautonomia), respiratory (impaired cough response, nasal obstruction), hepatobiliary (hepatitis), renal (nephritis), ocular (anesthesia), hematological (reduced red, white and platelet count) and osseous systems (bone resorption).
CONCLUSION: Investigation of the systems likely to be affected by leprosy (e.g., complete hemogram, liver, lung and kidney function tests, Valsalva response, assessment of ocular anesthesia) should form part of a preanesthetic check up in patients with leprosy.