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Stat Med. 1997 Sep 30;16(18):2103-15.

First year serologic response to treatment for syphilis: a model for prediction of seroreversion.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


There is no straightforward test available, within weeks of treatment for syphilis, to assess adequacy of serologic response. We propose a method to predict non-treponemal seroreversion based on short term response. To develop and illustrate this method, we used data from 370 individuals with infectious syphilis. Individual serologic response appears to be a linear function of (log) time, suggesting the possibility of using rapid plasma reagin titres recorded in the first few months after treatment to determine the slope of the linear treatment response line. The slope of the response line, during the first year after treatment, is an important predictor of seroreversion but must be considered in conjunction with pre-treatment titre. We recommend development of an action line be developed based on these variables. Such a line would indicate the necessity for retreatment if the line plotted from the patient's first year response failed to fall below the action line.

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