Alterations in serum lipids in lepromatous leprosy patients with and without ENL reactions and their relationship to acute phase proteins

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


The concentrations of serum lipids were measured in patients with lepromatous (LL/BL) leprosy and erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). The relationships between serum lipid levels and serum amyloid A (SAA) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also examined in these patients. LL/BL patients had significantly higher serum triglyceride and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations compared to the endemic controls. ENL patients had significantly lower total, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol levels compared to the endemic controls. The levels of all lipid metabolites also were significantly lower in ENL patients compared to LL/BL patients. The concentrations of SAA and CRP were markedly elevated in ENL patients but were not statistically different in LL/BL patients compared to control subjects. There was a significant negative correlation between SAA and HDL-cholesterol levels in both stable lepromatous and reactional (ENL) patients; there was no statistically significant correlation between CRP and HDL-cholesterol levels. SAA levels also had a significant negative correlation with total and LDL-cholesterol levels. Our results indicate that serum lipids are significantly altered in patients with lepromatous disease and ENL reaction. Our results also suggest that an increase in SAA levels may divert the metabolism of lipoproteins from hepatocytes toward macrophages, resulting in a decrease in serum lipoprotein levels.


International Journal of Leprosy and Other Mycobacterial Diseases