Syphilis - tertiary
Late syphilis; Tertiary syphilis
Symptoms of tertiary syphilis depend on which organ systems have been affected. They vary widely and are difficult to diagnose. In individuals with tertiary syphilis, the primary and secondary stages of syphilis usually have been long forgotten. Medical findings of aortic aneurysms and neurological problems require astute diagnostic ability to link them to syphilis. Some of the
symptomaticproblems are listed below.
Cardiovascularsyphilis which affects the aorta and causes aneurysms or valve disease
- Central nervous system disorders (neurosyphilis)
- Infiltrative tumors of skin, bones, or liver (
Signs and tests
VDRLor RPRblood tests are used as screening tests. If they are positive, one of the following is needed to confirm the diagnosis of syphilis:
FTA-ABS (fluorescent treponemal antibody test)
Spinal fluid examinationin neurosyphilis shows signs of meningitis.