|Description:||This patient presented to a clinical setting with what turned out to be a marked enlargement of the great auricular nerve due to an attack by the bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae. Sometimes, all that is presented as symptoms of this disease, is the neural involvement and ensuing swelling of the peripheral nerves.|
A chronic infectious disease, leprosy usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves, but has a wide range of possible clinical manifestations. Patients are classified as having paucibacillary or multibacillary Hansen's disease. Paucibacillary Hansen's disease is milder and characterized by one or more hypopigmented skin macules. Multibacillary Hansen's disease is associated with symmetric skin lesions, nodules, plaques, thickened dermis, and frequent involvement of the nasal mucosa resulting in nasal congestion and epistaxis.