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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 381--385

Oral lesions in leprosy

1 Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, HUCFF-UFRJ and School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Department of Pathology, HUCFF-UFRJ and School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
M Silva
Rua Sorocaba 464 / 205, 22271-110 Rio de Janeiro
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17642946

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BACKGROUND: Leprotic oral lesions are more common in the lepromatous form of leprosy, indicate a late manifestation, and have a great epidemiological importance as a source of infection. METHODS: Patients with leprosy were examined searching for oral lesions. Biopsies of the left buccal mucosa in all patients, and of oral lesions, were performed and were stained with H&E and Wade. RESULTS: Oral lesions were found in 26 patients, 11 lepromatous leprosy, 14 borderline leprosy, and one tuberculoid leprosy. Clinically 5 patients had enanthem of the anterior pillars, 3 of the uvula and 3 of the palate. Two had palatal infiltration. Viable bacilli were found in two lepromatous patients. Biopsies of the buccal mucosa showed no change or a nonspecific inflammatory infiltrate. Oral clinical alterations were present in 69% of the patients; of these 50% showed histopathological features in an area without any lesion. DISCUSSION: Our clinical and histopathological findings corroborate earlier reports that there is a reduced incidence of oral changes, which is probably due to early treatment. The maintenance of oral infection in this area can also lead to and maintain lepra reactions, while they may also act as possible infection sources. Attention should be given to oral disease in leprosy because detection and treatment of oral lesions can prevent the spread of the disease.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow