What is ophthalmic syphilis in HIV infection?

Updated: Jun 12, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Copeland, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Ophthalmic syphilis is believed to result from the proliferation and subsequent infiltration of Treponema pallidum spirochetes into ocular structures. Histologic evaluation demonstrates mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cell infiltration of the involved ocular tissue, particularly the cornea, iris, retina, and choroid. A modification of the host response to syphilis in HIV-infected patients may occur, which is partly responsible for the rapid course of CNS involvement in these patients.


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