Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia
On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
PIMENTEL, Maria Inês Fernandes et al. Silent neuritis in multibacillary leprosy evaluated through the development of disabilities before, during and after multidrug therapy. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2004, vol.79, n.2, pp. 169-179. ISSN 1806-4841. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0365-05962004000200005.
BACKGROUND: Silent neuritis is defined as deterioration of the neural function without neural pain, in contrast to overt neuritis, characterized by pain in the peripheral nerve that may accompany damage to neural function. Its early detection is important to prevent the development of leprosy disabilities. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the frequency of silent neuritis in multibacillary leprosy patients. METHODS: One hundred and three patients (18.4% BB, 47.6% BL and 34% LL) were followed-up for an average of 64.6 months from diagnosis, during and after multidrug therapy, in relation to physical impairments and according to a disability grade. RESULTS: Patients that presented a worsening of the disability grade by the end of treatment or at the end of follow-up compared to the baseline grade or to the end of treatment, were studied. Altogether we detected five patients (4.9% of the total) that developed silent neuritis, during or after multidrug therapy. CONCLUSION: We recommend a careful regular neurological examination of multibacillary patients, with a view to prompt detection and treatment of silent neuritis.
Keywords : disability evaluation; leprosy; neuritis.