• Although congenital syphilis is a well established cause of hearing loss, early acquired syphilis is frequently overlooked in the differential diagnosis of sensorineural deafness. This is due, in part, to a decrease in the incidence of syphilis and to the advent of penicillin in previous years which reduced this complication to a clinical rarity.
However, with the increase in new cases of syphilis in the past decade, early acquired syphilitic deafness is being seen with increasing frequency. Along with it is the syndrome of early syphilitic meningitis with sudden sensorineural deafness.
This potentially reversible condition should be considered in sexually active patients in whom sudden deafness develops. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for maximum recovery of hearing.
(Arch Otolaryngol 104:66-68, 1978)
Balkany TJ, Dans PE. Reversible Sudden Deafness in Early Acquired Syphilis. Arch Otolaryngol. 1978;104(2):66–68. doi:10.1001/archotol.1978.00790020008002
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