Involvement of the Autonomic Nervous System in Leprosy

Authors: Emir DÖNDER, Şahap KÜKNER, Bülent MÜNGEN, Ramiz ÇOLAK, Mustafa ATAŞ

Abstract: It has been accepted that the autonomic nervous system (ANS) remains intact in leprosy. Recently, some authors reported that the ANS was affected in leprosy. To investigate whether the ANS was affected or not, 41 leprosy patients (28 men, 13 women, ages 13-67 age, mean age 53±12) were examined and compared with 21 healthy controls (12 men, 9 women, ages 13-70, mean age 50±12). Noninvasive bedside tests (orthostatic tests, Valsalva ratio, 30: 15 ratio, pupil size, and phenylephrine and pilocarpine tests) were performed. The mean 30:15 ratio, the mean pupil size, and the phenylephrine test results in leprosy patients were significantly abnormal when compared with the controls (p<0.0005, p<0.005, respectively). We concluded that ANS had been attacked in our leprosy patients.

Keywords: Leprosy, autonomic nervous system, infectious neuritis.