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Ann Ophthalmol. 1986 Sep;18(9):260-1.

Neurosyphilis and retrobulbar neuritis in a patient with AIDS.


A 33-year-old homosexual patient with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) developed sudden unilateral loss of vision. Slit-lamp and funduscopic examination of the affected eye was completely within normal limits. The patient, however, had a Marcus Gunn pupil, decreased color vision, and a large central scotoma on visual field examination. This was consistent with retrobulbar optic neuritis. Laboratory investigation revealed a highly positive serum and cerebrospinal fluid venereal disease reaction level (VDRL). A diagnosis of neurosyphilis was made, and the patient was treated with ten days of intravenous penicillin therapy. Ophthalmologists should be aware that many patients with AIDS have also been exposed to syphilis. Regardless of their clinical presentation, all AIDS patients should be examined and tested for syphilis and treated as is necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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