Clinico histopathological correlation in leprosy

Dermatol Online J. 2012 Sep 15;18(9):2.


Introduction: Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by M. leprae, which presents in different clinico-pathological forms, depending upon the immune status of the host. Clinical classification gives recognition only to gross appearances of the lesions, whereas the parameters used for the histopathological classification are well defined, precise, and also take into account the immunological features.

Results: Of the 182 suspected cases of leprosy which were biopsied, the clinical diagnosis was TT in 32 (17.5%), BT in 70 (38.4%), BB in 5(2.7%), BL in 24 (13.1%), LL in 23 (12.6%), and indeterminate in 28 (15.3%) cases. Of the 182 cases, which were biopsied, only 136 (74.7%) showed histological features consistent with any one type of leprosy. The overall clinicohistological correlation was 74.7 percent. A comparison of the histopathological pattern with that of clinical pattern revealed that the maximum correlation was seen with LL (84.2%), followed by BL (73.3%), BT (64.1%), TT (56%), BB, and IL (50%).

Conclusion: Because there is some degree of overlap in different types of leprosy, especially the unstable forms, the correlation can be made more accurate by combining clinical and histopathological features.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leprosy / classification*
  • Leprosy / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult