Diagnosis of Leprosy

The primary diagnosis of leprosy can be made by the visible symptoms of the affliction. Presence of hypo-pigmented skin lesions and loss of sensation on these patches can easily lead a clinician to confirm leprosy.

Some of the tests for leprosy diagnosis are as under:

  • Biopsy material of skin smears, showing acid-fast bacilli with Ziehl-Neelsen stain or Fite stain (biopsy) can help diagnose multibacillary leprosy. Also, if the bacteria are absent, the conclusion would be the presence of paucibacillary leprosy.
  • Some of the other tests like liver function test, CBC test, creatinine test, and nerve biopsy may be conducted to determine if other organ systems of the body have been affected by the causal bacterium strain.

The differential diagnosis for leprosy include SLE, syphilis, sarcoidosis, erythema nodosum, vitiligo, cutaneous tuberculosis, erythema multiforme, scleroderma, mycosis fungoides, diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis, tinea versicolor, and neuropathy, among others.