Syphilis of the orbit, first described by Boerhaave,1 in 1749, is a rare manifestation of the disease. A review of the available literature to date discloses the report of not more than about 150 authenticated cases, in either congenital or acquired syphilis.
Only five of about 6,000 cases of syphilis in this clinic at the Johns Hopkins Hospital showed this type of lesion. Of 130,000 patients with all types of eye diseases seen in the Leipzig Clinic prior to 1909,2 seventeen, or 0.013 per cent., were diagnosed as periostitis or gumma of the orbital wall. The diagnostic problems raised by lesions of the orbit are often difficult, and numerous instances are reported in which the diagnosis of syphilis was made only following operative interference. Furthermore, the prompt response of these lesions to antisyphilitic therapy and the universally poor results in untreated patients justify the following report of our own