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November 1969

Nasopharyngeal Syphilis With Blindness

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla
From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla. Dr. Gager is currently with the Marquette School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Milwaukee.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(5):641-646. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030643022

THIS IS the first report of the presence of Treponema pallidum found on biopsy of the nasopharynx. Furthermore, the spirochetes were found after massive penicillin therapy. The organisms were identified by specific immunofluorescent staining, Krajian silver impregnation, and by passive transfer to the rabbit. The patient presented with blindness and ophthalmoplegia resembling a bilateral cavernous sinus syndrome.

Report of a Case  This 39-year-old Negro woman (775745) was first seen June 13, 1967, because of headaches and progressive visual loss for four months. But for transient left-sided focal seizures in 1959 and again in 1963, the patient was well until February 1967. Dental extractions were then performed and two weeks later right sided headaches began. Within a short period of time a profound visual loss occurred, the headaches became bilateral, and the left eye became swollen. In early June, the left-sided jacksonian seizures recurred, and progressed to generalized convulsions.Because of

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