Journal Mobile

JD Widdrington, I Ashfaq, B Puvaneswaran, EL Ong, U Schwab, DA Price, ML Schmid, R Pandit
Journal Issue: 
Volume 47: Issue 2: 2017




The incidence of syphilis in the UK is rapidly rising. Uveitis (intraocular inflammation) usually occurs in the secondary or later stages of syphilis infection and is sight-threatening.

Methods A retrospective analysis of the demographics, presentation, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of patients with syphilitic uveitis managed in Newcastle from 2005–2016 was carried out.

Results Ten males (19 eyes) with syphilitic uveitis had a generally good visual and serological response to penicillin treatment. In eight of the patients there had been a failure to test for syphilis during assessments by various medical practitioners for unexplained symptoms that were attributable to syphilis prior to the eye involvement.

Conclusion Uveitis associated with syphilis can be sight-threatening but responds well to treatment. In our case series there were multiple missed opportunities to diagnose syphilis prior to presentation with eye disease, with a general failure of healthcare professionals to take an adequate sexual history.