The most common and characteristic bone change found in the syphilitic fetus and in the new-born infant is osteochondritis syphilitica, first described by Wegner1 in 1870. The findings of Wegner were later confirmed by Waldeyer and Köbner, Parrot, Birch-Hirschfeld and others.
The frequency with which this change is found by various observers varies from 70 per cent. (Awsitidijski) to 93.4 per cent.2 In roentgenographic examination of 100 supposedly normal infants, Shipley3 and his co-workers found fifteen with advanced syphilitic osteochondritis, ten with less marked signs of syphilitic involvement, and twenty-one with changes from the normal which strongly suggested syphilis.
Thoenes,4 in a series of forty cases of congenital syphilis, found some signs of osteochondritis in thirty. In two of the cases there were, in addition, periosteal changes.
Osteochondritis has always been regarded as of intra-uterine origin. Taylor's contention that it might occur in very early acquired
SUTHERLAND GF, MITCHELL JH. EFFECTS OF TREATMENT ON BONE LESIONS IN CONGENITAL SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1923;81(21):1752–1757. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650210018005
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