Lesional characteristics and histopathology in paucibacillary leprosy patients with 2 or 3 skin lesions: comparison between ROM and PB-MDT regimens.Indian J Lepr. 2005 Jan-Mar; 77(1):19-25.IJ
Paucibacillary (PB) patients form a large segment of newly diagnosed leprosy patients and those who present with only two or three skin lesions could have problems with compliance. With prolonged anti-leprosy drug regimens that last over six months. ROM therapy, a one-dose regimen, offers an attractive alternative in treating such patients. We conducted a longitudinal study of 51 such PB patients, placing them in two groups at random: one receiving the standard PB-MDT regimen, and the other the ROM regimen. Patients were followed up for 2 years, with a comprehensive clinical examination done every six months. 14 patients, 7 in each group, also had their skin biopsies evaluated histopathologically at recruitment, at 6 months and at the end of 2 years. There was a consistent improvement of lesions in both the groups over time. The fall in granuloma fraction and the clearance of the initial bacterial index were seen in the histopathology of both groups. Although the PB-MDT regimen is an effective and robust one, the operational convenience and drug compliance with ROM could make it an acceptable, parallel regimen for PB patients when the disease is localized to 2 or 3 skin lesions.