Ocular Syphilis

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      Abstract

      The ability of syphilis to mimic different ocular disorders can lead to misdiagnosis and delay in appropriate antimicrobial therapy. The authors describe their experience over the past 5 years with the ocular manifestations of syphilis in 25 patients who comprised 2.45% of 1020 new patients. Uveitis was the most common ocular manifestation seen. All patients had positive results from FTA-ABS tests, whereas only 68% had reactive serum VDRLs. Two of five patients tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody were reactive. The authors recommend routine FTA-ABS and VDRL screening in patients with uveitis or unexplained ocular inflammation. They also recommend testing for HIV antibody in luetics and aggressive treatment with high-dose aqueous penicillin for syphilis.
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