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Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Syphilis, Congenital Paediapaedia: Musculoskeletal Diseases

Syphilis, Congenital

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Clinical Presentation:
See skin rash, rhinorrhea, hepatosplenomegaly, ascites, pulmonary infection (pneumonia alba), seizures due to CNS infection, and nephrotic syndrome.

Secondary to maternal and transplacental transmission of infection. Occurs during the second or third trimester. Seventy-five percent of cases have bone involvement but it may not be present at birth because skeletal lesions take 6- 8 weeks to develop from the time of infection.

Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
First thing seen in bones is abnormalities in bone mineralization caused by systemic infection and only later does the bone actually become infected and at this time you see bone destruction and periosteal new bone formation. Wimberger's sign is bilateral focal destruction of the proximal medial tibial metaphyses. See also ill defined translucent linear bands in the metaphyses.


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