• Vol. 42 No. 7, 366–367
  • 15 July 2013

An Under-Recognized Cause of Polyarthritis: Leprosy


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Polyarthritis is an uncommon manifestation of leprosy. We describe a case initially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, leading to delayed treatment.

A 57-year-old Indonesian Chinese gentleman without known leprosy contact presented with peripheral inflammatory polyarthritis for 2 years. Examination revealed tender metacarpo-phalangeal joints and synovitis of the wrists and ankles. Investigations showed raised white cell counts, positive rheumatoid factor and negative anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies. Radiographs of affected joints were normal. The patient was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and treated with prednisolone, methotrexate and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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