Effectiveness of neurolysis as a treatment for complications of leprosy neuritis: a systematic review

Laís Cristina Gonçalves*, Miguel Fuentealba-Torres, Natacha Bolorino, Natalia Marciano de Araujo Ferreira, Franciely Midori Bueno de Freitas, Carla Fernanda Tiroli, Rosângela Aparecida Pimenta, Ricardo Alexandre Arcêncio, Flávia Meneguetti Pieri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Complications of leprosy neuritis are considered serious and apparent, with the potential to disable and/or limit individuals. These complications affect not only a patient’s physical functioning, but also their family and social lives, while directly impacting the ability to work and/or maintain financial independence, subsequently interfering with their overall quality of life. The present review, therefore, aimed to analyze the effectiveness of neurolysis as an alternative treatment for the complications associated with leprosy neuritis. Methods: The present review was performed based on the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology, in an effort to answer the following research question: what is the effectiveness of neurolysis as a treatment for leprosy neuritis complications? This research question was defined using the patient-intervention-outcome (PIO) framework, where leprosy represents ‘P’, neurolysis for ‘I’, and neuropathic pain/ motor function/sensorial function/physical disability/quality of life for ‘O’. Randomized and non-randomized clinical trials and prospective observational cohort studies were included in the present review, with no time or date restrictions. Results: The present review included 1 randomized clinical trial and 10 prospective studies, published between 1976 and 2020. All of the outcomes showed improvement, with relief from neuropathic pain being the primary finding. Conclusions: The evidence obtained in the present review suggested that neurolysis is an effective alternative for the treatment of physical disabilities, the recovery of sensory and motor function, the restoration of quality of life, and neuropathic pain relief.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0123-2023
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalRevista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical. All rights reserved.


  • Leprosy
  • Nerve Block
  • Neuritis
  • Systematic Review


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