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[Reactional status of leprosy].

  • Alonso, A M
Published Article
Medicina cutánea ibero-latino-americana
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1975
PMID: 1241072


Reactional leprosy is studied according to its clinical forms A) Lepromatous a) Acute lepromatization: encroaching and invasive nature; the patient becomes more and more lepromatous ; bad prognosis. b) Erythema nodosum: "contusiform dermatitis"; variable prognosis not so bad as it is in the preceding case; allergic nature and its evolution is usually detained and therapeutics efficient. c) Erythema multiform. d) Lucio's phenomenon: vascular lesions and consequently necrosis as a complication of the "erythema necrotisans" (beautiful leprosy). B) Tuberculoid Reactional tuberculoid is the only one in this benign type, the Mitsuda's test must always be positive and prognosis consequently good. C) Dimorphous or "Borderline" whose Mitsuda's test is mostly negative, sometimes positive, but not stable. The lesions may stimulate the tuberculoid leprids but they invade mucous membranes, are impregnated by pigmentation, may present the Unna's band, and other characteristics of the Lepromatous type. Are associated (fever, asthenia and emaciation). Prognosis not very good, because of the possibility of lepromatization, according to its tendency. Evolution slower and frequent relapses. Besides there are nodular lesions. Pathogeny 1) Perifocal allergic reaction (Jadassohn). Similar to epituberculosis and Herxheimer reaction. 2) Septicemia. Sensitized tissues inside or outside the lesions, are invaded by the bacilli and so the allergic reaction takes place. Even without culture resources, Mycobacterium leprae has been found in the blood by direct examination. 3) Autoimmunization (Waldenstrom, Matthews and Trantman, 1965). Based upon the similarity between both humoral syndromes, in leprosy reactions and collagenous, diseases, as to: hypergammaglobulins, hypercryoproteins, antigammaglobulins, serological reactions (Wassermann, Kahn, Kline, VDRL) positives, Antistreptolysin O, protein C reactive, antinuclear factors, latex and Wadler-Rose test positives (rheumatoid tests) lowering of complement. If leprosy reaction is like this, it should be the less agressive of the autoimmune diseases. a) Its eruptions are cyclic not of long standing duration, as a general rule. b) Its prognosis has been recognized as good, except lately, because of the use of corticoid therapy which has been fatal, in many cases. After some years the leprosy reaction cures spontaneously. Treatment (see article)

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