The late appearance of syphilitic lesions in the various organs of the body in so-called congenital syphilis has always aroused interest ever since it was first recognized that the disease may be implanted during intrauterine life and remain unrecognized until it manifests itself in late childhood or puberty, after emotional disturbances, infections and trauma. The protean features of syphilis are remarkably well illustrated in this department of the subject. Although the present communication deals chiefly with late manifestations of syphilis of the nervous system, in the literature may be found many instances of gumma and other tertiary lesions of the vascular apparatus, upper respiratory tract, eyes and abdominal viscera.
In 1879, Augagneur pointed out that these lesions were always tertiary in character and never secondary, and he made the interesting observation that whenever he had an opportunity to investigate the stage of the disease in the parents at the time
ZABRISKIE EG. CERTAIN FACTORS IN DEVELOPMENT OF NEUROSYPHILITIC LESIONS IN LATE CONGENITAL SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1923;81(7):523-528. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650070007004