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Leprosy of the Larynx: A Case Report

Author(s): Momen Heravi Mansoureh | Sharif Alireza

Journal: Acta Medica Iranica
ISSN 0044-6025

Volume: 47;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 485;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Leprosy | laryngitis | larynx | Mycobacterium | leprae

Leprosy is an ancient deforming disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, which is still poorly understood and often feared by the general public and even by some in the health care professions Fortunately, the outlook for patients has dramatically improved over the last three decades with the introduction of multi-drug treatment and management strategies that have somewhat diminished the stigma of this diagnosis. We report a rare case of leprosy of larynx. A 45 year old man presented with complaints cough, dyspnea and hoarseness since many years ago. Because of demonstration of acid fast bacilli in smear of his sputum, the diagnosis of tuberculosis was made and anti tuberculosis treatment was initiated. But he developed fever and his symptoms exacerbated. In examination there was a tender erythematous nodule on right supraclavicular region, loss of eyebrows and lashes and disseminated hyper and hypo pigmented cutaneous lesions on abdomen, thorax, back with normal chest x ray. Laryngoscopy to rule out laryngeal tuberculosis was done and granulomatous lesion was seen. Laryngeal and skin biopsy was performed which numerous acid fast bacilli, macrophages and foamy cells suggestive of lepromatous leprosy were demonstrated in both specimens. Treatment was started on multi bacillary regime of WHO multidrug therapy. In conclusion, this report highlights the importance of systemic involvement in lepromatous leprosy especially when the initial presentation is laryngitis or respiratory symptoms. Laryngeal leprosy may mistaken with tuberculosis laryngitis due to respiratory problems and existence of acid fast bacilli in respiratory secretions.
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