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Auricular leishmaniasis mimicking squamous cell carcinoma of the pinna
  1. Ambreen Abdullah Unar,
  2. Muhammad Ozair Awan,
  3. Shabbir Akhtar and
  4. Saba Akram
  1. The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Muhammad Ozair Awan; ozair.awan{at}


Cutaneous leishmaniasis can occur on any exposed area of the body; however, the pinna is an exceptionally rare site for the disease. Caused by the parasite Leishmania, cutaneous leishmaniasis has a wide range of presentations and thus is very easy to misdiagnose or mistake for a neoplastic lesion. Here, we report the case of a middle-aged male patient presenting with a painful, ulcerated lesion on the left auricle initially suspected to be a malignancy with histopathology eventually revealing a diagnosis of auricular leishmaniasis. The patient received appropriate therapy and was found to be disease free at follow-up. These isolated lesions of the pinna often resemble neoplastic lesions and thus may escape diagnosis for months at a time, increasing patient stress as well as expenditure. In addition, prompt recognition may also help mitigate recurrence of the disease, making it worthwhile to include cutaneous leishmaniasis as part of the differential, especially in endemic areas.

  • Otolaryngology / ENT
  • Head and neck surgery

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  • Contributors AAU: Literature review and data collection. MOA: Literature review and manuscript writing. SAkh: Critical revisions and final approval. SAkr: Data collection.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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