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Hepatitis in patients with syphilis: an overlooked association
  1. Ana Carina Pizzarossa and
  2. Martín Rebella
  1. Clínica Médica C, Hospital de Clínicas, Montevideo, Uruguay
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ana Carina Pizzarossa, carina491986{at}


We present the case of a patient who sought treatment for fever and a maculopapular rash involving the trunk, limbs, palms and soles. The patient also presented with hepatomegaly and elevated levels of liver enzymes (with a higher increase of alkaline phosphatase). With the proposal of early syphilitic hepatitis, during the stage of secondary syphilis, a venereal disease research laboratory and Treponema pallidum haemagglutination tests were requested, which confirmed the diagnosis. All altered parameters improved with antibiotic treatment for secondary syphilis. Syphilitic hepatitis is an often overlooked presentation of syphilis and should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients with elevated levels of liver enzymes and risk factors for syphilis.

  • hepatitis other
  • syphilis

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  • Contributors ACP: conception and design, acquisition of data and drafting the article. MP: revising it critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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