Case Report: Upper Thoracic Esophageal Paralysis Accompanying a Type 1 Leprosy Reaction

Jianyu Zhu Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China;

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Chao Shi Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China;

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Huaibo Zhao Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China;

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Rongli He Department of Infectious Disease, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

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Zhichun Jing Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China;

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Degang Yang Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China;

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ABSTRACT.

Type 1 leprosy reactions (T1LRs) occur mainly in patients with borderline leprosy and an unstable immune status. The main symptoms of T1LRs include aggravated skin lesions and nerve damage. Nerve damage involving the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves causes dysfunction of the nose, pharynx, larynx, and even the esophagus, which are innervated by these nerves. Here, we report a case of upper thoracic esophageal paralysis caused by vagus nerve involvement in a patient with T1LRs. Although infrequent, this serious emergency merits attention.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Degang Yang, Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 1278 Bao De Rd., Shanghai 200443, People’s Republic of China. E-mail: ydg007@gmail.com

These authors contributed equally to this work.

Financial support: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 81872537).

Authors’ addresses: Jianyu Zhu, Chao Shi, Huaibo Zhao, Zhichun Jing, and Degang Yang, Department of Leprosy, Shanghai Skin Disease Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, E-mails: 35476451@qq.com, sc_mac@163.com, 1025849046@qq.com, 743835016@qq.com, and ydg007@gmail.com. Rongli He, Department of Infectious Disease, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, E-mail: 155284114@qq.com.

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