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Dermatology. 2013;226(2):148-56. doi: 10.1159/000347109. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Clinical spectrum of neurosyphilis among HIV-negative patients in the modern era.

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1
Center of Clinical Laboratory, Zhongshan Hospital, Medical College of Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The clinical spectrum of neurosyphilis (NS) has changed over time.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the clinical spectrum and characteristics of NS in HIV-negative patients.

METHODS:

A retrospective chart review was performed for 149 in patients with NS.

RESULT:

All patients were >25 years old, including 16.8% asymptomatic for NS, 15.4% with syphilitic meningitis, 24.2% with meningovascular NS, 38.9% with general paresis, 4.0% with tabes dorsalis and 0.7% with gummatous NS. The original misdiagnosis rate was 84.6%. All 149 patients had positive serum Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) and rapid plasma reagin (RPR). The overall positive rates of cerebrospinal fluid RPR (CSF-RPR) and CSF-TPPA were 57.0 and 89.9%, respectively. CSF pleocytosis and elevated CSF protein were found in 40.3% of patients. Nonspecific abnormal brain magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography findings were present in 60.4 and 54.8% of NS patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

NS has various clinical manifestations, laboratory findings and magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography findings, but all studies lack specificity. Every patient with neurological or psychiatric symptoms that are without unambiguous causes should have blood tests for syphilis. When serology proves positive, patients should undergo CSF examination.

PMID:
23615173
DOI:
10.1159/000347109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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