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Article
November 1922

STUDIES IN ASYMPTOMATIC NEUROSYPHILIS: III. THE APPARENT INFLUENCE OF PREGNANCY ON THE INCIDENCE OF NEUROSYPHILIS IN WOMEN

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1922;30(5):548-554. doi:10.1001/archinte.1922.00110110019002
Abstract

In the second paper of this series1 it was pointed out that in spite of the fact that clinical neurosyphilis is more common in men than in women, cytobiologic abnormalities in the cerebrospinal fluid of primary and secondary syphilitics are equally frequent in the two sexes. Futhermore, evidence was presented to show that from the group of patients showing these early fluid abnormalities (early asymptomatic neurosyphilis) arise most, if not all, of the late cases of clinical meningeal and parenchymatous neurosyphilis. Since women are comparatively exempt from clinical neurosyphilis, there must be some special factor, applying only to the female sex, which inhibits its development. It was suggested that pregnancy might be the factor in question. The purpose of this paper is to examine this point more in detail.

The literature is replete with statistics, dating from the earliest days of the study of syphilis, regarding the comparative incidence of

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