Although the association of syphilis and certain rare cases of gastric disease has been so clearly recognized that criteria for the diagnosis of gastric syphilis have been advanced,1 convincing scientific proof is wanting that these gastric lesions are due to the presence of Spirochaeta pallida. Both clinical and histologic diagnoses of gastric syphilis have been made on the knowledge of coexisting syphilis and the exclusion of other known causes of gastric lesions.
In 1922, McNee2 observed spirochetes in one of eight blocks of tissue obtained from a gastric lesion at autopsy. While he considered that these organisms had the typical appearance of Spirochaeta pallida, doubt still remains as to their identity. Singer and Dyas,3 in 1928, made a careful survey of the literature, including McNee's report, and concluded that the presence of Spirochaeta pallida in lesions diagnosed gastric syphilis had never been conclusively demonstrated. In the reported
HARRIS S, MORGAN HJ. THE ISOLATION OF SPIROCHAETA PALLIDA FROM THE LESION OF GASTRIC SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1932;99(17):1405–1407. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740690015004
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