Recently it has been our privilege to observe a patient in the secondary stage of syphilis who presented a phlebitis of the superficial veins of the lower extremities. Syphilitic phlebitis is one of the unusual manifestations of the disease, the veins seeming to enjoy a comparative immunity. This fact is in striking contrast to the arterial side of the vascular bed which is so frequently attacked by the spirochete.
The first clinical observations on acute syphilitic phlebitis were recorded in 1860 by Girwood,1 who noted the occurrence of a peculiar phlebitis of the superficial veins of the lower extremities in three young men suffering with syphilis in its early secondary period. Since that time, French and German syphilographers have studied the condition from both a clinical and a pathologic standpoint. In 1903, Roussy2 was able to collect the reports of thirty-five observations in the literature, including two of
MORROW H, EPSTEIN NN. ACUTE SYPHILITIC PHLEBITIS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1928;17(3):309–317. doi:10.1001/archderm.1928.02380090018003
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