Neurosyphilis - The White Matter Disintegration? - Two Case Reports

Psychiatr Danub. 2017 Sep;29(Suppl 3):357-360.


Background: There is evidence for neurosyphilis being associated with the central nervous system vasculitis involving medium and small vessels. As the hemispheric white matter is the major target of these vascular alterations the white matter axonal and myelination disruption may be observed employing measure for the rate of water molecule diffusion. High apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) correspond to unimpeded water diffusion and indicating white matter disintegration.

Case reports: In a retrospective study exploringcentral nervous system magnetic resonance (MR) images of two subjects presenting with neurosyphilis the ADC values were found to be increased as related to normal values being accompanied with normal appearing white matter of hemispheres.

Conclusions: Applying ADC analysis to evaluate the brain in patients with neurosyphilis may reveal undetectable changes and explain the scale of abnormalities that occur in CNS. The increased mean ADC valuesin the normal appearing white matter of the hemispheres may correlate with neuropsychoatric symptomatology in syphilis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Humans
  • Neurosyphilis* / complications
  • Neurosyphilis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • White Matter* / diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter* / pathology