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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 107, No. 2, 2012, pp. 246-253
Bioline Code: oc12036
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 107, No. 2, 2012, pp. 246-253

 en Histopathological examination of nerve samples from pure neural leprosy patients: obtaining maximum information to improve diagnostic efficiency
Antunes, Sérgio Luiz Gomes; Chimelli, Leila; Jardim, Márcia Rodrigues; Vital, Robson Teixeira; Nery, José Augusto da Costa; Corte-Real, Suzana; Hacker, Mariana Andréa Vilas Boas & Sarno, Euzenir Nunes


Nerve biopsy examination is an important auxiliary procedure for diagnosing pure neural leprosy (PNL). When acid-fast bacilli (AFB) are not detected in the nerve sample, the value of other nonspecific histological alterations should be considered along with pertinent clinical, electroneuromyographical and laboratory data (the detection of Mycobacterium leprae check for this species in other resources DNA with polymerase chain reaction and the detection of serum anti-phenolic glycolipid 1 antibodies) to support a possible or probable PNL diagnosis. Three hundred forty nerve samples [144 from PNL patients and 196 from patients with non-leprosy peripheral neuropathies (NLN)] were examined. Both AFB-negative and AFB-positive PNL samples had more frequent histopathological alterations (epithelioid granulomas, mononuclear infiltrates, fibrosis, perineurial and subperineurial oedema and decreased numbers of myelinated fibres) than the NLN group. Multivariate analysis revealed that independently, mononuclear infiltrate and perineurial fibrosis were more common in the PNL group and were able to correctly classify AFB-negative PNL samples. These results indicate that even in the absence of AFB, these histopathological nerve alterations may justify a PNL diagnosis when observed in conjunction with pertinent clinical, epidemiological and laboratory data.

leprosy - pure neural form - diagnosis

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