Ocular Syphilis: Clinical Manifestations and Treatment Course.

Jonathan Chang // Publications // Dec 01 2019

PubMed ID: 31978289

Author(s): Etheridge T, Bowen RC, Raven M, Snow KB, Urban AW, Chang JS. Ocular syphilis: clinical manifestations and treatment course. WMJ. 2019 Dec;118(4):191-195. PMID 31978289

Journal: Wmj : Official Publication Of The State Medical Society Of Wisconsin, Volume 118, Issue 4, Dec 2019

INTRODUCTION We report 3 ocular syphilis cases that highlight the increasing incidence, variable presentation, diagnostic challenges, and treatment considerations of this potentially visionthreatening disease.

CASE SERIES A 39-year-old woman with diabetes and intravenous (IV) drug use presented with 3 weeks of decreased vision, left-eye photopsia, and rash. A 52-year-old man who has sex with men (MSM), presented with a 1-month history of upper respiratory infection-like symptoms, right-eye scotoma, redness, headache, and muffled hearing. A 24-year-old man with a history of MSM presented with right-eye scotoma and a history of transaminitis, rash, and systemic symptoms months prior.

DISCUSSION Syphilis rates are increasing. Each patient presented with nonspecific symptoms that, in retrospect, were early signs of infection. Vision recovery depends on the extent of ocular involvement, early recognition, and prompt initiation of appropriate therapy.

CONCLUSION Ocular syphilis must be considered in at-risk groups, but systemic signs may precede vision changes. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion and treatment with IV penicillin is effective.

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