Enlarged peripheral nerves are one of the cardinal manifestations of leprosy and the involvement of the great auricular nerve is well known. Enlargement of the “transverse cervical nerve” (also known as “superficial cervical” or “transverse cutaneous nerve of neck”) in leprosy is rarely reported.1 As depicted in Figures 1 and 2, we observed enlargement of bilateral transverse cervical nerves along with enlarged great auricular nerves in two patients with leprosy. The enlarged transverse cervical nerves were firm, cord-like, and tender on palpation. Their independent emergence, separate from the great auricular nerve, from the posterior border of sternocleidomastoid and an anteriorly directed course serves as an important guide in detecting them. Sural nerve biopsy revealed presence of lepra bacilli in both the cases (Figure 3).
Similar to the great auricular nerve, transverse cutaneous nerve arises from second and third cervical nerves, turns around the posterior border of sternocleidomastoid muscle about its middle, courses obliquely forward, and supplies the antero-lateral part of the neck.2 We report bilaterally thickened transverse cervical nerves as a rare feature of leprosy. It can be added to the list of nerves enlarged in leprosy and may help in diagnosis.
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