BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-221023
  • Learning from errors

Nerve abscess in pure neural leprosy mistaken for peripheral nerve sheath tumour with disastrous consequence: what can we learn?

  1. Neena Khanna1
  1. 1Department of Dermatology and Venereology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  2. 2Department of Radio-Diagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  1. Correspondence to Professor Neena Khanna, neena_aiims{at}
  • Accepted 6 September 2017
  • Published 5 December 2017


A 34-year-old Indian man presented to an orthopaedician with gradually progressive hypoesthesia affecting his right lower limb and an ipsilateral common peroneal nerve swelling around the knee. The nerve swelling was diagnosed as a peripheral nerve sheath tumour based on MRI findings and was excised, only to be revealed as leprous nerve abscess on histopathology later. The patient developed right foot drop as a result of common peroneal nerve biopsy. This case presents several learning points in the diagnosis of pure neural leprosy.


  • Contributors All the authors were involved in the care of the patient. The manuscript has been drafted by VG and TD, and has been edited by NK. The radiology images were reviewed by CJD. The final manuscript draft has been seen and approved by all the authors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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