THIS IS the first report of the persistence of spirochetes in the temporal bone in congenital syphilitic deafness despite penicillin therapy.
Report of a Case
This case was previously reported in detail by Karmody and Schuknecht1 to emphasize the histopathological changes in the temporal bone in congenital syphilis. The purpose of this communication is to present findings in the same temporal bone specimen when studied with a modified Krajian silver impregnation stain for spirochetes,2 and the pertinent clinical data are therefore reviewed.The patient died at age 48 in 1962. His mother had been treated for syphilis which was diagnosed when he was a few weeks old. At age 16 he developed interstitial keratitis resulting in partial blindness. At 18 years of age hearing loss began, which progressed rapidly to complete loss of hearing in the right ear and severe but incomplete loss on the left. The
Mack LW, Smith JL, Walter EK, Montenegro ENR, Nicol WG. Temporal Bone Treponemes. Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(1):11–14. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030013005
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