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August 1981

Acute Syphilitic Optic Neuritis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Weinstein and Ho), Neurology (Dr Lexow), and Medicine (Dr Spickard), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Dr Weinstein is now with The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(8):1392-1395. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930020266010

• Two patients experienced acute unilateral visual loss as a manifestation of early infectious (secondary) neurosyphilis. In both cases, optic disc swelling was preceded by the development of a characteristic rash accompanied by mild signs of meningeal inflammation. Other signs of ocular inflammation, such as uveitis or retinal vasculitis, were absent. Optic neuritis may occur as a manifestation of the meningeal inflammation that can accompany secondary syphilis. In such patients, it is important to confirm involvement of the CNS and to institute appropriate antibiotic therapy.