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December 1981

Tuberculosis and Syphilis

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(12):2206-2207. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930021082022

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To the Editor.  —Thirty years ago most patients with uveitis were thought to have either tuberculosis or syphilis. Although the diagnosis of uveitis is almost always presumptive, certain diagnoses today can be made more accurately because of (1) the availability of new tests that can be performed on the ocular fluids themselves, (2) the introduction of isoniazid, (3) the use of serologic tests such as the FTA-ABS, and (4) the description of many new uveitis entities. Three of the most common uveitis diagnoses made today—toxoplasmosis, histoplasmosis, and peripheral uveitis—were unknown entities in 1944.Our purpose is to point out that although they are less prevalent as systemic diseases than they once were, ophthalmologists should not miss cases of ocular tuberculosis or syphilis. For most cases of uveitis, we have no specific treatment, but for these two entities, specific therapy is available. Such treatment may be helpful not only for the

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