Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial Investigating Decompression for Leprous Neuropathy (The DELN Protocol)

Eric L. Wan, Andres F. Rivadeniera, Hector A. Serrano, Indra Napit, José Antonio Garbino, Jerry Joshua, Nora Cardona-Castro, A. Lee Dellon, Willem Theuvenet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: An expert group of peripheral nerve surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, and immunologists who have extensive experience with Hansen’s Disease convened to discuss the status of nerve decompression as a treatment for leprous neuropathy. The expert group recommended an international, multi-center randomised controlled trial (RCT). Subsequently, a study protocol called Decompression for Leprous Neuropathy (DELN) was designed and further refined by multiple investigators worldwide. The DELN Protocol: The DELN RCT seeks to determine the long-term effect of nerve decompression on sensibility, motor function, neuropathic pain, disability, and quality of life. The RCT would enroll patients with clinically diagnosed leprous neuropathy and positive Tinel signs in the upper and lower extremities. Patients would then be randomized to receive nerve decompression or not. Outcomes of interest include sensory function, motor function, pain, disability, and quality of life. The development of ulcers or amputations after surgery and the influence of corticosteroid therapy are also important outcomes that DELN seeks to determine. Conclusions: The study Decompression for Leprous Neuropathy (DELN) is an international, multi-center RCT with the potential to produce high quality data to address whether nerve decompression for leprous neuropathy can conclusively improve patient outcomes. We invite discussion from all those involved in the peripheral nerve and leprosy communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)553-561
Number of pages9
JournalLeprosy review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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