Meningitis - syphilitic
Syphilitic aseptic meningitis is a complication of untreated syphilis that involves inflammation of the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. People with this condition have changes in mental status and problems with nerve function.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted, infectious disease caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum. Syphilis has three main stages:
Syphilitic aseptic meningitis is a form of meningovascular neurosyphilis, which is a progressive, life-threatening complication of syphilis infection.
The disorder is similar to meningitis caused by other conditions.
Risks for syphilitic aseptic meningitis include previous infection with syphilis or other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea. Syphilis infections are mainly transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person, but they may sometimes be transmitted by nonsexual contact.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recommendations and Reports: Sexually Transmitted Diseases. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006;55(RR-11).
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for syphilis infection in pregnancy: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:705-709.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for syphilis infection. Topic Page. July 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. Acccessed 6/28/2010.
Hook EW III. Syphilis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 340.
Tremont EC. Treponema pallidum (Syphilis). In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009: chap 238.
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