[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 8, 1982

Recognition of Syphilis

JAMA. 1982;247(2):175. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320270015010

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor.—  The poor results obtained by Thomas A. Chapel, MD, in "Physician Recognition of the Signs and Symptoms of Secondary Syphilis" (1981;246:250) are not surprising. I dare say the recognition rate would have been no better for chancre, unless it appeared on the penile location. Perhaps what is needed is a memory slot to bring syphilis to mind. One such "law" goes roughly as follows: There is a basic contradiction between the cardinal sign and the expected symptom of both primary and secondary syphilis. The primary chancre looks painful but is not; the secondary rash looks pruritic but is not.There are exceptions, of course, but it seems to help keep lues in mind.