The significance of facial patches and type I reaction for the development of facial nerve damage in leprosy. A retrospective study among 1226 paucibacillary leprosy patients

Lepr Rev. 1991 Jun;62(2):143-9. doi: 10.5935/0305-7518.19910016.


Charts of 1226 paucibacillary leprosy patients, registered between 1982 and 1987 were reviewed for recent facial nerve damage, facial patches and the presence of Type I reaction. Twenty-six (2.1%) patients with recent lagophthalmos were identified. In a great majority (85%) patients with recent lagophthalmos showed significant patches over the malar region or around the eye, at the same side as the nerve damage together with clinical signs of Type I reaction. This combination of significant patches in certain locations and Type I reaction seems to be a pre-condition for facial nerve damage. The clinical implication is that a small group of patients may be identified, who are at risk of facial nerve damage. By examining these patients more carefully it will be possible to detect nerve damage early and to prevent permanent damage of the facial nerve by timely treatment with an appropriate steroid regimen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology
  • Facial Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Facial Nerve Diseases / immunology
  • Facial Nerve Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leprosy, Borderline / complications*
  • Leprosy, Borderline / immunology
  • Leprosy, Borderline / pathology
  • Leprosy, Tuberculoid / complications*
  • Leprosy, Tuberculoid / immunology
  • Leprosy, Tuberculoid / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin / pathology*