Lues maligna in early HIV infection case report and review of the literature

Sex Transm Dis. 2009 Aug;36(8):512-4. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e3181a2a946.


Background: Lues maligna (also known as malignant syphilis or ulceronodular syphilis) is a rare dermatologic manifestation of syphilis more commonly seen in patients with HIV infection. The classic lesion of lues maligna is an oval, papulopustular skin lesion with well demarcated borders sometimes covered with a lamellar crust, but myriad clinical presentations of this disease also exist.

Goals: To report a presentation of lues maligna in a patient with probable early HIV infection, emphasizing the diagnostic criteria and clinical manifestations of lues maligna.

Study design: Case report of lues maligna in a patient with probable early HIV infection.

Conclusions: As syphilis becomes more common in many developed regions, it is important to recognize even atypical presentations of this clinical entity, especially among individuals who have unrecognized or early HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / diagnosis
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / etiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / pathology
  • Adult
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin / pathology
  • Syphilis Serodiagnosis
  • Syphilis, Cutaneous* / diagnosis
  • Syphilis, Cutaneous* / etiology
  • Syphilis, Cutaneous* / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Treponema pallidum