About Us
Find a
Location:
Find a Location
or
Find a
Provider:
Find a Physician
and/or

Health Condition Information

Health Information Encyclopedia - Medical Tests

Search Health Information   

Antigen injection
Antigen injection


Lepromin skin test

Definition:

The lepromin skin test is used to determine what type of leprosy a person has.



Alternative Names:

Leprosy skin test; Hanson disease - skin test



How the test is performed:

A sample of inactivated (unable to cause infection) leprosy-causing bacteria is injected just under the skin, usually on the forearm, so that a small lump pushes the skin up. The lump indicates that the antigen has been injected at the correct depth.

The injection site is labeled and examined 3 days, and again 28 days, later to see if there is a reaction.



How to prepare for the test:

People with dermatitis or other skin irritations should have the test performed on an unaffected part of the body.

If your child is to have this test performed, it may be helpful to explain how the test will feel, and even demonstrate on a doll. Explain the reason for the test. Knowing the "how and why" may reduce the anxiety your child feels.



How the test will feel:

When the antigen is injected, there may be a slight stinging or burning sensation. There may also be mild itching at the site of injection afterwards.



Why the test is performed:

Leprosy is a chronic and potentially disfiguring infection if left untreated. It is caused by Mycobacterium leprae bacteria.

This test is a research tool that helps classify the different types of leprosy. It is not recommended as the main way to diagnosis leprosy.



Normal Values:

People who don't have leprosy will have little or no skin reaction to the antigen. Patients with a particular type of leprosy called lepromatous leprosy will also have no skin reaction to the antigen.



What abnormal results mean:

A positive skin reaction may be seen in patients with tuberculoid and borderline tuberculoid leprosy. Patients with lepromatous leprosy will not have a positive skin reaction.



What the risks are:

There is an extremely small risk of an allergic reaction, which may include itching and, rarely, hives .



Special considerations:

This test is used primarily as a research tool and only helps in the classification of leprosy. It should not be used to establish a diagnosis of leprosy.



References:

Renault CA, Ernst JD. Mycobacterium leprae. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 251.

Kumar B, Dogra S. The infectious diseases. In: Bope ET, Kellerman RD, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy 2012. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.




Review Date: 8/14/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Text Only Options

Change the current font size: larger | default | smaller

Current color mode is Black on White, other available modes: Yellow on Black | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Yellow on Black, other available modes: Black on White | Black on Cream

Current color mode is Black on Cream, other available modes: Black on White | Yellow on Black

Open the original version of this page.