Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is commonly referred to as the "great imitator" because of its ability to mimic a variety of systemic and ocular diseases. This elusive characteristic of syphilis has often led to a delay in diagnosis or an incorrect diagnosis, particularly with respect to ocular manifestations. Ocular involvement in syphilis usually occurs in the secondary or tertiary stages of the disease; it is typically manifested as a nonspecific inflammatory response.1 A frequently overlooked ocular manifestation of syphilis is scleritis. When present in isolation, syphilitic scleritis often produces a diagnostic dilemma. We describe a patient with ocular syphilis who displayed the symptoms of isolated, anterior nodular scleritis when first seen.
Report of a Case.
We examined a 67-year-old woman at a community health fair; she complained of pain in her right eye, which she had experienced for several weeks. We referred her to the General
Casey R, Flowers CW, Jones DD, Scott L. Anterior Nodular Scleritis Secondary to Syphilis. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(8):1015-1016. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140223022