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Ocular Manifestations of Leprosy

Overview

Leprosy (Hansen disease) is a chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease caused primarily by the gram-positive bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy predominantly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, and eyes. Up to 75% of individuals with leprosy have ocular involvement,
and 40% have ocular disability.
Ocular manifestations include madarosis, lagophthalmos, corneal exposure, keratitis, corneal ulceration and scarring, episcleritis and scleritis, conjunctival and scleral lepromas, uveitis, uveal effusion, and retinal pearls and detachment.

Ocular therapy depends on the manifestations of the disease and may involve medical and surgical measures.

Although leprosy was declared globally eliminated in 2000 (ie, prevalence of < 1 case per 10,000 persons globally), pockets of high endemicity still remain, primarily in a few developing countries (189,018 chronic cases and 232,857 new cases reported in 2012, according to the World Health Organization
).

See Leprosy and Pediatric Leprosy for details about systemic leprosy.

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