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January 1969

Lues Maligna: Presentation of a Case and a Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. At the time of this study, Dr. Chang was also with the Venereal Disease Program, National Communicable Disease Center, Public Health Service, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, assigned to the San Francisco City Health Department. He is now at Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston 02111.

Arch Dermatol. 1969;99(1):70-73. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610190076014

A case of lues maligna, an unusual form of secondary syphilis is presented. The primary clinical features of the disease were ulcerating skin lesions with rupioid crusting, and a strongly reactive VDRL. Biopsy showed an obliterative vasculitis. Oral tetracycline effected rapid resolution of the lesions. The hypothesis is presented that the disease represents a progressive form of papulopustular secondary syphilis. Poor nutrition and generalized debility is a feature of many of the cases and may be of etiological significance.

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