A Myriad of Scleroma Presentations: The Usual and Unusual

Head Neck Pathol. 2020 Sep;14(3):588-592. doi: 10.1007/s12105-019-01075-5. Epub 2019 Sep 16.


To prospectively study a series of scleroma patients with a focus on socioeconomic status, clinical presentation, pathology, microbiology, and treatment. A total of 52 patients diagnosed with scleroma were included in the study. Demographic data of the patients were collected and clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic findings were analyzed. Biopsies from atypical patients were sent for electron microscopic examination. Patients were treated both medically and surgically with clinical follow-up to determine outcomes and the incidence of recurrence. Fifty-two patients were included in the study. There were 23 males (44.2%) and 29 females (55.8%). The highest incidence of scleroma was identified in individuals from poor, rural areas in the third to fourth decades of life. The nose was affected in all cases. Other affected sites included the nasopharynx, soft and hard palate, larynx and trachea, lacrimal passages, skin, and gingiva. Some patients had atypical presentations. Complete follow-up of all patients was hindered by non-compliance with clinic visits and the long duration of medical treatment. Recurrence or relapse of the granulomatous lesions after initial improvement occurred in 11 patients (21.2%) within 1 to 3 years. Scleroma is a stubborn, chronic, granulomatous bacterial disease. The diverse presentations may mimic neoplasms and other granulomatous conditions. We present cases with unusual presentations and demonstrate the transmission electron microscopic features of these lesions. Furthermore, we confirm the importance of achieving full eradication of the etiologic bacilli to prevent recurrent disease.

Keywords: Granuloma; Klebsiella; Nose; Rhinoscleroma; Tracheostomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rhinoscleroma / epidemiology*
  • Rhinoscleroma / pathology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult