Oro-facial manifestations in lepromatous leprosy patients in Central India: clinical findings from a cross-sectional study.
OBJECTIVES: To clinically evaluate the oro-facial manifestations in lepromatous leprosy patients undergoing multidrug therapy in Central India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred patients from 2 leprosy treatment centers in Central India who satisfied the diagnostic criteria set by the WHO (2006-2010) committee on leprosy were included in the study. To avoid bias, only patients who started the multi-drug treatment regimen less than 1 year ago were included. All the patients were examined for the presence of oral and facial manifestations. To confirm that the oro-facial manifestations were not due to HIV co-infection, serological diagnostic tests including ELISA, Immunocomb, and Tri-dot were performed.
RESULTS: Majority of the patients (n = 189) exhibited oral (n = 145) and/or facial (n = 147) manifestations. The most common oral lesions were found to be fissuring and depapillation of the tongue followed by fibrosis and loss of uvula. Among the facial manifestations, facial skin lesions and loss of eyebrows were most prevalent followed by sagging of facial skin and facies leonine.
CONCLUSION: The facial manifestations of leprosy are quite common, readily recognizable, and relatively specific to the disease. Thus, the presence of facial manifestations, especially with co-existing oral lesions must prompt the clinician to mandate further investigations to confirm the diagnosis.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: As evidenced by the present study, facial manifestations and oral lesions are an integral part of leprosy. In addition to being a diagnostic parameter, facial manifestations and oral lesions could potentially be used to monitor the disease progression and treatment outcome.