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Neurofibromatosis and leprosy
  1. Thomas R. Swift
  1. Rehabilitation Branch, USPHS Hospital, Carville, Louisiana, U.S.A.
  2. Louisiana State University School of Medicine, U.S.A.


    Two patients with neurofibromatosis and leprosy are reported. Both had active lepromatous leprosy and generalized neurofibromata. The bacilli appear in huge numbers within the cytoplasm of the cells making up the neurofibromata, which become distended and resemble lepra cells. Since these cells are believed to derive from Schwann cells, the findings in these patients support the idea that leprosy affects nerves initially by proliferating in Schwann cells and producing changes within them.

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    • 1 This work was supported by Social and Rehabilitation Service Grant No. RC 75 MPO.