Biopsy of the earlobe in leprosy patients has revealed that histopathological findings and acidfast bacilli of a diagnostic nature may be found in the earlobe. These findings substantiate on a histological basis the use of the earlobe as a site where useful clinical information may be obtained.
The best correlation of over-all clinical appearance and histopathological findings in the earlobes is found in patients with lepromatous leprosy. In most instances, skin smears and biopsies of earlobes of leprosy patients appear to provide similar information. The systemic form of leprosy reaction was reflected in the earlobe histopathological findings. Positive histopathological findings in dimorphous leprosy patients could not be predicted. The limitations of earlobe biopsy in leprosy are discussed.
Mansfield RE, Storkan MA, Cliff IS. Evaluation of the Earlobe in LeprosyA Clinical and Histopathological Study. Arch Dermatol. 1969;100(4):407-412. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610280025003