Deformities of bones of the face and extremities are markers of leprosy (Hansen's disease) which contribute to stigma associated with this disease. Among these deformities are articular alterations that can mimic rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this case, a 64-year-old man presented with a history of having been treated for lepromatous leprosy and erythema nodosum leprosum episodes, which evolved with joint alterations similar to those of RA. Most cases of leprosyrelated arthritis are associated with reactional episodes, of which a large number do not respond to conventional therapy for leprosy reactions. In cases of chronic arthritis not associated with leprosy reactions, although patients show considerable relief with anti-leprosy therapy, arthritis is not completely resolved. This emphasizes the need for early diagnosis and treatment of leprosy to prevent the development of osteoarticular alterations.
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© 2020 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.