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Syphilitic aseptic meningitis

  • Definition

    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.

    Alternative Names

    Meningitis - syphilitic

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Syphilis is a sexually transmitted, infectious disease caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum. Syphilis has three main stages:

    • Primary syphilis
    • Secondary syphilis
    • Tertiary syphilis

    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.