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Evaluation of sensibility in leprosy--comparison of various clinical methods.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Leprosy review
Publication Date
Volume
65
Issue
2
Pages
106–121
Identifiers
PMID: 7968183
Source
Medline

Abstract

In order to determine whether various sensibility tests, not in common use at our hospital, are appropriate for the neurological screening of leprosy patients, an extended nerve function assessment (NFA) was done on 50 in- and outpatients who had been diagnosed as suffering from leprosy (100 hands and feet). The nerve function assessment battery consisted of Semmes-Weinstein monofilament testing (SWMT), moving 2-point discrimination (M2PD). Pinprick (PP), position sense (PS), vibration sense (VS) and voluntary muscle testing (VMT). In addition the SWMT was performed on 637 hands and 634 feet of field patients' in order to get a better indication of the prevalence of sensory impairment as measured with the SWMT. The SWMT has been shown to be a sensitive test of peripheral nerve function, therefore the other tests were compared with the SWMT. Results are reported separately for the ulnar, median and posterior tibial nerve. Test sites were the pulp of the distal phalanx of the index finger, the little finger and the big toe. Correlation between the SWMT and each of the other tests proved statistically significant; the closest correlations were between the SWMT, M2PD and PP for both ulnar and median nerves (r > 0.7, F test > 100, p < 0.0001). It is argued that the first tests to show nerve function impairment (NFI) are the M2PD and the SWMT. VS and PS were also absent in a significant proportion of patients. Arguments are presented that this may indicate advanced NFI. Results are compared with other data currently available in the literature.

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