Resurgence of syphilis:a diagnosis based on unusual oral mucosa lesions

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Known as "the great imitator," secondary syphilis may clinically manifest itself in myriad of ways, involving different organs (including the oral cavity), and mimicking, both clinically and histologically, several diseases, thereby making diagnosis a challenge for clinicians. CASE REPORT: We highlight an interesting case of a 45-year-old man on whose diagnosis of secondary syphilis was based on the presence of unusual oral lesions, consisting of a well delimited, raised, nonhomogeneous, and corrugated white plaque on the right buccal mucosa which mimicked, clinically and histologically, a "leukoplakia-like" plaque and several whitish oral mucous patches localized on the lower labial mucosa and the right lateral margin of the tongue. After the oral lesions, the patient developed a symmetric maculopapular cutaneous rash on the palms, soles, and the trunk of the body. Furthermore, during the anamnesis the patient stated an asymptomatic ulcerative lesion on the glans penis, which had appeared 7 months before the onset of the oral lesions and spontaneously disappeared after 2 weeks. The history of these genital and cutaneous lesions suggested performing serologic tests for syphilis, revealing strongly positive titers and leading us to making a diagnosis of secondary syphilis. CONCLUSION: This case is remarkable because it displays an unusual oral sign, associated with secondary syphilis; in fact, only occasionally does syphilis manifest itself with a "leukoplakia-like" plaque. Dentists should consider secondary syphilis in the differential diagnosis of white and/or ulcerative oral lesions, above all in at-risk patients, given the continuing rise of syphilis in western Europe.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)45-49
Numero di pagine5
RivistaORAL SURGERY ORAL MEDICINE ORAL PATHOLOGY ORAL RADIOLOGY AND ENDODONTICS
Volume109(3)
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2009

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Mouth Mucosa
Syphilis
Leukoplakia
Penis
Serologic Tests
Lip
Exanthema
Dentists
Tongue
Mouth
Mucous Membrane
Differential Diagnosis
History
Secondary syphilis
Skin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oral Surgery

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@article{a4bde3ac137d42fa992bd584d95660c4,
title = "Resurgence of syphilis:a diagnosis based on unusual oral mucosa lesions",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Known as {"}the great imitator,{"} secondary syphilis may clinically manifest itself in myriad of ways, involving different organs (including the oral cavity), and mimicking, both clinically and histologically, several diseases, thereby making diagnosis a challenge for clinicians. CASE REPORT: We highlight an interesting case of a 45-year-old man on whose diagnosis of secondary syphilis was based on the presence of unusual oral lesions, consisting of a well delimited, raised, nonhomogeneous, and corrugated white plaque on the right buccal mucosa which mimicked, clinically and histologically, a {"}leukoplakia-like{"} plaque and several whitish oral mucous patches localized on the lower labial mucosa and the right lateral margin of the tongue. After the oral lesions, the patient developed a symmetric maculopapular cutaneous rash on the palms, soles, and the trunk of the body. Furthermore, during the anamnesis the patient stated an asymptomatic ulcerative lesion on the glans penis, which had appeared 7 months before the onset of the oral lesions and spontaneously disappeared after 2 weeks. The history of these genital and cutaneous lesions suggested performing serologic tests for syphilis, revealing strongly positive titers and leading us to making a diagnosis of secondary syphilis. CONCLUSION: This case is remarkable because it displays an unusual oral sign, associated with secondary syphilis; in fact, only occasionally does syphilis manifest itself with a {"}leukoplakia-like{"} plaque. Dentists should consider secondary syphilis in the differential diagnosis of white and/or ulcerative oral lesions, above all in at-risk patients, given the continuing rise of syphilis in western Europe.",
author = "Giuseppina Campisi and Domenico Compilato and Salvatore Amato",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
volume = "109(3)",
pages = "45--49",
journal = "Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics",
issn = "1079-2104",
publisher = "Mosby Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Resurgence of syphilis:a diagnosis based on unusual oral mucosa lesions

AU - Campisi, Giuseppina

AU - Compilato, Domenico

AU - Amato, Salvatore

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - BACKGROUND: Known as "the great imitator," secondary syphilis may clinically manifest itself in myriad of ways, involving different organs (including the oral cavity), and mimicking, both clinically and histologically, several diseases, thereby making diagnosis a challenge for clinicians. CASE REPORT: We highlight an interesting case of a 45-year-old man on whose diagnosis of secondary syphilis was based on the presence of unusual oral lesions, consisting of a well delimited, raised, nonhomogeneous, and corrugated white plaque on the right buccal mucosa which mimicked, clinically and histologically, a "leukoplakia-like" plaque and several whitish oral mucous patches localized on the lower labial mucosa and the right lateral margin of the tongue. After the oral lesions, the patient developed a symmetric maculopapular cutaneous rash on the palms, soles, and the trunk of the body. Furthermore, during the anamnesis the patient stated an asymptomatic ulcerative lesion on the glans penis, which had appeared 7 months before the onset of the oral lesions and spontaneously disappeared after 2 weeks. The history of these genital and cutaneous lesions suggested performing serologic tests for syphilis, revealing strongly positive titers and leading us to making a diagnosis of secondary syphilis. CONCLUSION: This case is remarkable because it displays an unusual oral sign, associated with secondary syphilis; in fact, only occasionally does syphilis manifest itself with a "leukoplakia-like" plaque. Dentists should consider secondary syphilis in the differential diagnosis of white and/or ulcerative oral lesions, above all in at-risk patients, given the continuing rise of syphilis in western Europe.

AB - BACKGROUND: Known as "the great imitator," secondary syphilis may clinically manifest itself in myriad of ways, involving different organs (including the oral cavity), and mimicking, both clinically and histologically, several diseases, thereby making diagnosis a challenge for clinicians. CASE REPORT: We highlight an interesting case of a 45-year-old man on whose diagnosis of secondary syphilis was based on the presence of unusual oral lesions, consisting of a well delimited, raised, nonhomogeneous, and corrugated white plaque on the right buccal mucosa which mimicked, clinically and histologically, a "leukoplakia-like" plaque and several whitish oral mucous patches localized on the lower labial mucosa and the right lateral margin of the tongue. After the oral lesions, the patient developed a symmetric maculopapular cutaneous rash on the palms, soles, and the trunk of the body. Furthermore, during the anamnesis the patient stated an asymptomatic ulcerative lesion on the glans penis, which had appeared 7 months before the onset of the oral lesions and spontaneously disappeared after 2 weeks. The history of these genital and cutaneous lesions suggested performing serologic tests for syphilis, revealing strongly positive titers and leading us to making a diagnosis of secondary syphilis. CONCLUSION: This case is remarkable because it displays an unusual oral sign, associated with secondary syphilis; in fact, only occasionally does syphilis manifest itself with a "leukoplakia-like" plaque. Dentists should consider secondary syphilis in the differential diagnosis of white and/or ulcerative oral lesions, above all in at-risk patients, given the continuing rise of syphilis in western Europe.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/37956

M3 - Article

VL - 109(3)

SP - 45

EP - 49

JO - Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics

JF - Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics

SN - 1079-2104

ER -