Syphilitic myelopathy is a rare acute entity and should not be confused with syphilitic myelitis, which is usually remittent and requires months or years to develop. Syphilitic myelopathy is an acute disease occurring in the secondary stage of syphilis or soon afterward. It is characterized clinically by flaccid paralysis of the lower extremities, loss of sphincteric control and of all forms of sensation below the lesion, spontaneous spasmodic movements, decubitus and ascending pyelocystitis. It is characterized pathologically by diffuse and irregular demyelinization and vascular changes. The prognosis is usually grave. In differential diagnosis, distinction must be made from transverse myelitis of infectious origin and thrombosis of the anterior and posterior spinal arteries.
REPORT OF CASE
—M. E., a white man, an engineer, aged 26, single, on Nov. 10, 1932, at about 3 p. m., found himself unable to urinate when he felt the desire and at the same time
Stone TT, Well A. SYPHILITIC MYELOPATHYREPORT OF A CASE. Arch NeurPsych. 1934;32(5):1055-1059. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250110143011