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Ophthalmologic profile among Hansen’s disease patients in a tertiary hospital (RITM)

Authors: Kathryn Sarao-Nazario, MD, DPDS, Eugenio R. Pipo III, MD, FPDS, Ma. Teresita Gabriel, MD, FPDS, Leilani R. Senador, MD, FPDS, Gracia B. Teodosio, MD, FPDS, Rodrigo J. Senador, MD, MBA, DPBO, Arturo B. Capulong,MD, DPBO, Tricia Katrina T. Allas, DPBO


Background: Ophthalmologic evaluation is often neglected in routine screening of Hansen’s disease patients. In line with the global aim of reducing grade 2 disability, eye examination should be an essential part of routine examination of Hansen’s disease patients.

Objective: To describe the ophthalmologic profile of patients with Hansen’s disease seen in a tertiary hospital.

Methods: A point-prevalence survey was conducted. Sixty-six Hansen’s disease patients, aged 18 and above, underwent complete ophthalmologic examination including visual acuity, refraction, external eye examination, intraocular pressure determination, dilated pupil examination, palpebral aperture measurement, corneal sensation testing, and tear breakup time determination. Statistical analysis was done.

Results: All patients had ocular findings with lepromatous leprosy (62%) being the highest. Fifty-three percent had Type 2 lepra reaction. Most were males, disease duration in majority was < 5 years and bacillary morphologic index was 4.0 – 4.99. Patients with Grade 1 and Grade 2 disability of the eyes were 62% and 17% respectively. The most common ocular complications were: abnormal tear breakup time (79%), cataracts (53%),blepharitis (47%), madarosis (39%) and corneal opacities (24%).

Conclusion: There is a significant number of ocular findings among leprosy patients in this study. The highest number of ocular complications is among patients in the lepromatous pole. There is a preference of M. leprae for cooler areas; hence, the anterior chamber was greatly affected.


leprosy, Hansen’s disease, ophthalmologic examination

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Ophthalmologic profile among Hansen’s disease patients in a tertiary hospital (RITM)