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February 1930


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College.

Am J Dis Child. 1930;39(2):288-293. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01930140050006

Congenital syphilis has always been refractory to treatment. The fact of its resistance creates a situation by which, when compared to acquired syphilis, its prognosis is relatively unfavorable. As a result, adverse criticism is often directed against the use of drugs in the treatment of patients with congenital syphilis. Both comparison and criticism are obviously unfair, since it is recognized that in acquired syphilis the earlier the treatment the greater possibility of cure. It is fallacy, therefore, to expect the same favorable results when dealing with congenital syphilis, which is invariably of long duration, the new-born infant not excepted, since the disease has been present for months in utero.

To compare the relative value of drugs used in both forms of syphilis, it should be determined whether the disease has been present in each type for the same length of time. If this is done, the dismal outlook so frequent

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