Retrospective analysis of demographic factors and changing pattern of clinical features of acquired syphilis at a tertiary care center in South India


  • P. Sivayadevi Department of Dermato Venereoleprology, Government Medical College, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Heber Anandan Dr. Agarwal’s Healthcare Limited, Tamil Nadu, India



Acquired syphilis, Palmoplantar syphilide, Condyloma lata, Latent syphilis, Rapid plasma reagin test


Background: Syphilis presents with a wide range of mucocutaneous and systemic manifestations, which can mimic many other diseases. The pattern of acquired syphilis is changing in recent years because of widespread use of antibiotics and HIV infection which leads to under diagnosis. Aim was to study the demographic factors and changing pattern of clinical features of acquired syphilis.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of all cases of sexually transmitted infections registered in the Department of Venereology, Thanjavur Medical College from January 2013 to December 2017 was done. The data regarding epidemiological, clinical and investigational details were recorded and analyzed for changing trends in incidence, pattern and clinical presentation of syphilis.

Results: Of the total 14,672 cases attended theSTI clinic, 140 patients were diagnosed as having syphilis. There were 101 (79.4%) males and 39 (27.8%) females. Primary Syphilis was diagnosed in 18 (12.25%), Secondary syphilis in 38 (27.14%) and latent in 84 (60%) cases. Palmoplantar syphilide was the most common skin manifestation seen in 20 (52.63%) cases of secondary syphilis. 11 (7.85%) patients was human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reactive.

Conclusions: Our study indicates an increasing trend in the prevalence of syphilis cases in last 5 years with a rise in early symptomatic syphilis demanding steps to increase awareness among the general population.


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