Rheumatologic manifestations not only are encountered in leprosy but also can be the first and even the sole presenting manifestation. The hallmark of leprosy is skin and peripheral nerve affection; however, it can affect a wide range of other organs, with the joints being the commonest. We have searched PubMed with the key words leprosy, arthritis, vasculitis, rheumatic diseases, and autoantibodies in a proper combination. Relevant studies were retrieved from scanning of their abstracts. The relevant references provided in these articles were also selected and reviewed. We summarize the clinical and laboratory manifestations that make leprosy masquerade as a systemic rheumatic disease. Moreover, we report 4 Egyptian patients who presented with rheumatologic manifestations, namely, arthritis and vasculitis that turned out to be leprosy related.
From the Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Cairo University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Correspondence: Kyrillus S. Shohdy, MB.BCh, Cairo University Hospitals, Al-Saray St., El-Maniel, 11451, Cairo, Egypt. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work is attributed to Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt.