Many controversies exist regarding an accurate basis for the diagnosis of syphilis in the new-born. Certain investigators contend that the diagnosis is warranted only when clinical symptoms appear, while others accept at face value a positive or negative serologic reaction of the blood of the mother, of that of the new-born or that of both as the deciding factor. Men especially trained in syphilis will no doubt recognize physical signs when they occur. However, in a survey of the literature by Cruickshank 1 and in our own experience clinical symptoms do not occur with sufficient constancy to allow the disease to be recognized in more than a small percentage of the infected infants. On the other hand, diagnosis which is grounded solely on a positive serologic reaction, particularly on that of the mother's and often on that of the infant's blood, will carry into this disease category a higher
CREGOR FW, DALTON JE. SYPHILOTOXEMIA IN THE NEW-BORN. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;35(4):580–590. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01470220020002
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