ISSN 1683-9803 versão on-line
Introduction: Leprosy in children remains a pathology that is little described, and is underestimated in routine examination. Diagnosis of leprosy requires superior clinical skills because the lesions of the skin are asymptomatic and can pass unnoticed. Objective: To present pediatric case material and offer considerations concerning clinical and epidemiological criteria for diagnosis. Materials and Methods: A retrospective descriptive study. We evaluated 88 patient records stored in the archives of the Mennonite Hospital loca-ted at Kilometer 81, Route 2, Paraguay, from the time period of January 2000 until June of 2003, analyzing age, gender, clinical signs leading to diagnosis, time of progression, bacilloscopy the form of leprosy (lepromatous or tuberculoid), and history of contacts. Results: The most affected age group (42%) was that of ages 10- to 14-years of age, among males (58%), the most common form is tuberculoid, or paucibacillary leprosy (27 cases) and lepromatous, or multibacillary leprosy (25 cases). In 73 cases, intra-household contact was observed. Clinical examination and epidemiology were the primary tools for diagnosis, given that bacilloscopy was negative in 78% of patients. Conclusion: Leprosy is a disease that is re-emerging in Paraguay and around the world, for that reason pediatricians should consider it in differential diagnosis when faced with a patient with lesions of the skin or changes in sensitivity, and should ask questions to elicit any family history of the disease.
Palavras-chave: Leprosy; Differencial Diagnosis; Pediatrics; Cutaneous Lessions; Paraguay.
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