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A morphological study of nerve biopsies from cases of multibacillary leprosy given multidrug therapy


Nerve biopsies were examined from 17 cases of lepromatous leprosy given WHO-recommended multidrug therapy (MDT) for 2 years. The pathological changes were assessed qualitatively and quantitatively to judge the effectiveness of MTD> The nerves varied very considerably in the severity of their lesions. Some regenerating fibres were seen in most of the nerves. In a few cases, the nerves were almost entirely populated by regenerated fibres, confirming that MTD was effective in halting the disease process within the nerve. Mycobacterium leprae showed morphological features of degenerate bacilli. Some pathological features of the lepromatous lesion are described.

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Jacobs, J.M., Shetty, V.P. & Antia, N.H. A morphological study of nerve biopsies from cases of multibacillary leprosy given multidrug therapy. Acta Neuropathol 85, 533–541 (1993).

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Key words

  • Leprosy
  • Neuropathy
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Demyelination
  • Schwann cells