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Article
February 1984

Leprosy in a Trachomatous Population

Author Affiliations

From the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Prevention of Blindness and Trachoma (Drs Schwab and Dawson); the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Schwab and Dawson); the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Nassar and Korra) and Microbiology (Dr Malaty), Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria, and the German Leprosy Relief Association (Dr Zarifa), Alexandria, Egypt.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(2):240-244. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040030190024
Abstract

• In an Egyptian leprosy hospital, 17% of 133 patients had a visual acuity of less than 3/60. Corneal opacity, phthisis bulbi, and cataract accounted for 85% of blindness. Leprosy and trachoma together produce blinding corneal opacity by exposure, leprous keratitis, and trichiasis and entropion. Inturned lids, a late result of conjunctival scarring due to childhood trachoma, were less frequent in patients with lepromatous leprosy than in patients with tuberculoid leprosy; because conjunctival scarring from trachoma depends on cell-mediated immunity, patients with lepromatous leprosy may not have had severe trachomatous scarring develop due to their lifelong abnormality in cellular immunity. In patients with leprosy, even when complicated by trachoma, simple measures to prevent or restore vision include medical treatment of leprosy, surgical correction of lid deformities, sector iridectomy for constricted pupils or central corneal opacities, and cataract extraction.

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