Intestinal ulceration, obstruction, and haemorrhage in congenital syphilis

Pediatr Surg Int. 1999 Jul;15(5-6):391-3. doi: 10.1007/s003830050608.


Intestinal obstruction and bleeding are uncommon complications of congenital syphilis (CS). A VDRL-positive infant developed incomplete intestinal obstruction and rectal bleeding. Despite conservative management, his symptoms continued. At laparotomy, terminal ileal inflammation and stenosis were demonstrated. He underwent ileal resection and primary end-to-end anastomosis with resolution of his symptoms. Histopathological examination demonstrated heavy plasmacytic infiltration of the lamina propria and submucosa with ulceration of the mucosa, consistent with syphilitic ileitis. This report documents for the first time bleeding from ileal ulcers associated with intestinal obstruction in CS and highlights an unusual presentation of the disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / blood
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / microbiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / pathology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Humans
  • Ileitis / blood
  • Ileitis / microbiology*
  • Ileitis / pathology
  • Ileitis / surgery
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Obstruction / blood
  • Intestinal Obstruction / microbiology*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / pathology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Male
  • Syphilis, Congenital / complications*
  • Ulcer / blood
  • Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Ulcer / pathology
  • Ulcer / surgery