Lepromatous lymphadenitis masquerading as lymphoma
Government Medical College, Surat, Surat, Gujarat, IndiaLeprosy review (Impact Factor: 0.67). 04/2005; 76(1):87-90.
Leprosy, first described in ancient Indian texts from the 6th century B.C., is a non-fatal, chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, whose clinical manifestations are largely confined to the skin, peripheral nervous system, upper respiratory tract, eyes and testes.' Leprosy most commonly presents with both characteristic skin lesions and skin histopathology. The disease should be suspected when a patient from an endemic area has suggestive skin lesions or peripheral neuropathy.(1) However, this disease can even mimic lymphoma clinically, as can be seen in the following case report.
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ABSTRACT: The question was raised as to why 'obvious' signs of leprosy, Hansen's disease (HD), are often missed by medical doctors working in a HD endemic area. This study describes a small sample of patients who were diagnosed with HD during their hospital admission and not before. The discussion is whether the typical early signs and symptoms of HD are just not recognized, or whether unusual presentations confuse the attending physician. A total of 23 HD patients were hospitalized during the study period, of which 6 (26%) were only diagnosed with HD during their admission. All were classified as lepromatous leprosy (LL) with a history of signs and symptoms of HD. In nearly all patients, a suspicion of HD might have been raised earlier if a careful history and dermato-neurological examination had been done. Multibacillary (MB) HD, especially close to the lepromatous end of the spectrum, may mimic other diseases, and the patient can not be diagnosed without a biopsy or a slit skin smear examination. Clinicians working in a HD endemic area (Rio de Janeiro) do not always include HD in their differential diagnosis, especially when the clinical presentation is unusual. HD should be considered in all patients with skin lesions not responding to treatment, especially when they have neurological deficits, and live or have lived in an HD endemic area. Due to the increase in global travel and immigration, doctors in low endemic areas need to consider HD as a possible diagnosis.