Relapses in paucibacillary leprosy after MDT--a clinical study.Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1990 Mar; 58(1):19-24.IJ
A study was undertaken in a field-based project to assess the incidence and clinical profile of relapses occurring in paucibacillary leprosy patients after adequate doses of multidrug therapy (MDT). Of the 1509 paucibacillary patients who had received not less than 6 doses of MDT (WHO regimen), 85 relapsed; a relapse rate of 5.63% (17.5/1000 person years at risk). These relapses included 12 cases with features of reversal reaction. Seventy-nine percent of the patients relapsed with skin lesions. The relapse rate was higher in borderline cases and in those with more lesions, and it was lower in those who had received dapsone for at least 6 months after cessation of MDT. Seventy-four percent of the relapses were detected between 7 and 24 months of follow up. We feel that uniform clinical criteria should be formulated for the diagnosis of relapse. Individualization of therapy, rather than adhering to a fixed duration of MDT, would be likely to achieve satisfactory cure rates and fewer relapses.