SYPHILIS is well-known as a great mimic. It is also well accepted as a cause of cervical adenopathy (Winterbottom's sign). It is not, however, recognized by the modern head and neck surgeon as a cause of large neck masses which present themselves for diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, a serological examination is seldom part of the initial work-up of patients presenting with a primary neck mass. Two cases are presented which point out the need for more widespread use of serological diagnostic tests for syphilis by otolaryngologists, and, indeed, all physicians.
The two cases presented fall within the differential diagnostic area, including the various benign and malignant forms of lymphoid disease, as well as the benign lateral cysts of the neck, metastatic thyroid tumors, and primary deep-neck infection. Metastatic carcinoma of the neck was not seriously considered due to the clinical findings and the absence of any primary tumor on thorough
Yarington CT, Jensen OC. Syphilis as a Differential Diagnosis of Neck Masses. Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(2):219–221. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050221022
Otolaryngology in JAMA: Read the Latest
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.