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January 1966

Deafness in Congenital Syphilis

Author Affiliations

From the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(1):18-27. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020020008

RECENT reports from most parts of the world show a definite progressive increase in the incidence of early syphilitic infection.1 Moore et al2 state that there were 124,000 cases of syphilis reported in the USA in 1962 and also conclude that this figure represents but ⅕ of the total number. The most disturbing factor in the recent upsurge is the large number of young people involved with the possibility of transmission of the disease to their progeny. In 1962 there was more than a 100% increase in reported congenital syphilis compared to 1957,3 and the upward trend continues. In 1963, a total of 4,140 cases were reported in the USA compared to 4,085 for 1962.4

We are concerned in this paper with a clinical and pathological study of the deafness which is such a common symptom of congenital luetics and present our findings of a