It has been stated recently by Greenbaum and Cobane1 not only that iodine and the iodides may be dispensed with in the treatment of syphilis but that the fibrolytic effects ascribed to these agents are obtained more rapidly and more certainly by the arsenical and bismuth preparations. These authors contended that when the iodides are exhibited in cases of chronic syphilis they have no such effect as to dissolve fibrous tissue and so allow the spirocheticidal agents to reach the parasites. Such views, which are in direct opposition to those generally held, merit the most critical examination, and it is necessary that the evidence on which they are based should be carefully weighed.
The course of syphilis is roughly, but conveniently, divided into two stages, usually termed "early" and "late." It is somewhat unfortunate that such time terms have become so generally adopted, because earliness and lateness in
BURKE ET. RÔLE OF IODINE IN THE THERAPY OF SYPHILISA DISCUSSION OF ITS RELATIONSHIP TO LIPOIDS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1935;32(3):404–412. doi:10.1001/archderm.1935.01470030046006