Looking into Array of Clinical Presentations of Patients with Leprosy and their
Clinico-epidemiological Profile: A Retrospective Study
Senior Resident, Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India.
Introduction: The prevalence of leprosy in India has decreased to <1 per 10,000 population by 2016 after the introduction of Multidrug Therapy (MDT) in 1982; still wide variations in Prevalence Rates (PR) continue to exist across the states and regions in the country.
Aim: To determine the current clinical profile of leprosy and study various presenting features of patients with leprosy at a tertiary care hospital in Northern India.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study, based on seven years data, was conducted on patients diagnosed and registered in the leprosy clinic of a tertiary care hospital in Northern India, from January 2013 to December 2019. Data regarding their demographic details, presenting complaints, clinical features, associated complications and treatment administered was analysed and was entered into Microsoft Excel and presented as tables.
Results: A total of 181 patients of leprosy were registered over a period of seven years. There were 133 males and 48 females with male to female ratio of 2.77:1. Of the total patients registered, 3.86% were children (≤14 years) and 97.8% patients were immigrants from the adjoining states. The most common clinical type was Multibacillary (MB) leprosy in 88.95% patients whereas most frequent morphological type was Borderline Tuberculoid (BT) leprosy (72.93%). Thirty-three (18.23%) patients presented with leprosy reaction (Type 1 reaction in 16.6% and Type 2 reaction in 1.66%). World Health Organisation (WHO) grade 2 deformities (G2D) were diagnosed in 3 (1.66%) patients, with claw hand being the most common deformity (1.10%). Anaesthetic to hypoaesthetic patches were the most common presenting feature (64.1%).
Conclusion: Despite statistical elimination, MB disease and leprosy reactions are commonly seen as presenting manifestations. It highlights the need for high quality leprosy services including good referral system for an active case detection. Varied clinical presentations of leprosy should be contemplated while examining patients that can assist in an early and better case detection that will prevent delay in therapy and associated deformities and also decrease the transmission of disease in the community.