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August 1974

Placental Abnormalities of Congenital Syphilis: A Neglected Aid to Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology, Children's Hospital and General Hospital; and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati Medical Center (Dr. Altshuler).

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(2):160-163. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110270034007

The increasing sophistication of immunological tests for the diagnosis of congenital syphilis has been paralleled by a conspicuous lack of the placental examination as a means of morphologically confirming this diagnosis. Three recent cases of congenital syphilis showed a triad of placental changes: focal villitis, endovascular and perivascular proliferation in villous vessels, and relative immaturity of villi. Additionally, spirochetes were present. Placental examination has proved valuable in cases of suspected congenital syphilis.

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