Auricular leishmaniasis mimicking squamous cell carcinoma of the pinna

Ambreen Abdullah Unar, Muhammad Ozair Awan, Shabbir Akhtar, Saba Akram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous leishmaniasis can occur on any exposed area of the body; however, the pinna is an exceptionally rare site for the disease. Caused by the parasite Leishmania, cutaneous leishmaniasis has a wide range of presentations and thus is very easy to misdiagnose or mistake for a neoplastic lesion. Here, we report the case of a middle-aged male patient presenting with a painful, ulcerated lesion on the left auricle initially suspected to be a malignancy with histopathology eventually revealing a diagnosis of auricular leishmaniasis. The patient received appropriate therapy and was found to be disease free at follow-up. These isolated lesions of the pinna often resemble neoplastic lesions and thus may escape diagnosis for months at a time, increasing patient stress as well as expenditure. In addition, prompt recognition may also help mitigate recurrence of the disease, making it worthwhile to include cutaneous leishmaniasis as part of the differential, especially in endemic areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere254506
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2023


  • Head and neck surgery
  • Otolaryngology / ENT


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