Fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption test
A negative or nonreactive result means there is no current or past infection with syphilis.
A positive FTA-ABS usually indicates infection with syphilis. This test result will remain positive for life even if syphilis has been adequately treated. Therefore, it cannot be used to monitor the treatment of syphilis.
Other illnesses such as yaws and pinta may also result in positive FTA-ABS results. Occasionally there can be a false positive result, most often in women with lupus.
Hook EW III. Syphilis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 340.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Workowski KA, Berman SM. Diseases characterized by genital ulcers. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Aug 4;55(RR-11):14-30.
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 22.
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