Lagophthalmos in a multibacillary population under multidrug therapy in the People's Republic of China

Lepr Rev. 1995 Sep;66(3):214-9. doi: 10.5935/0305-7518.19950023.


Lagophthalmos may be the most common potentially blinding ocular condition in leprosy. The magnitude of the problem among multibacillary patients has not been determined. We sought to ascertain the magnitude of lagophthalmos in a multibacillary leprosy patient population under multidrug therapy (MDT) (both newly diagnosed and with a prior history of dapsone monotherapy) in China and assess factors associated with its presence. In a survey of 640 multibacillary patients 3.8% of the newly diagnosed patients and 10.2% of the patients with prior dapsone monotherapy had lagophthalmos. Corneal disease and vision loss were common in both groups. Poor compliance with MDT, duration between onset and diagnosis, and duration on dapsone monotherapy were associated with the presence of lagophthalmos. Our findings suggest that there may be a threshold at which MDT must be maintained to prevent lagophthalmos. Early leprosy diagnosis and treatment would also lessen the incidence of lagophthalmos in these patients. The high proportion of lagophthalmos patients with corneal disease suggests that there has been inadequate eye care for these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Corneal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Corneal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Eyelid Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leprostatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Leprosy / complications*
  • Leprosy / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Vision, Low / drug therapy
  • Vision, Low / epidemiology
  • Vision, Low / etiology
  • Visual Acuity


  • Leprostatic Agents