Send to

Choose Destination
Semin Ophthalmol. 2005 Jul-Sep;20(3):161-7.

Ocular manifestations and treatment of syphilis.

Author information

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted, chronic, systemic infection caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum. If left untreated, the disease progresses through four stages, with the potential to cause significant morbidity to any major organ of the body. Frequent syphilitic ocular manifestations, which can occur at any stage of the disease, include interstitial keratitis, anterior, intermediate, and posterior uveitis, chorioretinitis, retinitis, retinal vasculitis and cranial nerve and optic neuropathies. Diagnosis is centered around a high level of clinical suspicion and includes treponemal specific and non-treponemal serologic tests. All patients with newly diagnosed syphilis should be tested for co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus, as the risk factors are similar for both diseases. Additionally, all patients with ocular syphilis should be tested for neurosyphilis. The preferred treatment for all stages of syphilis remains parenteral penicillin G. With proper diagnosis and prompt antibiotic treatment, the majority of cases of syphilis can result in a cure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center