Nodular secondary syphilis mimicking cutaneous lymphoreticular process

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Nov;17(5 Pt 2):914-7. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(87)70280-1.


We hereby report a case presenting a rare form of secondary syphilis with an unusual nodular eruption accompanied by pruritus and generalized lymphadenopathy, bearing a striking resemblance to lymphoma. The histologic picture was also misleading and was compatible with lymphocytoma cutis. The diagnosis was eventually made after results of serologic tests for syphilis were found to be positive, with an extremely high titer of VDRL, and dark-field microscopy had demonstrated spirochetes in a nodular lesion. Secondary syphilis should thus be considered in the differential diagnosis of nodular lesions resembling lymphoreticular disease. It is also suggested that syphilis be added to the list of diagnoses belonging to the category of pseudolymphoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Syphilis, Cutaneous / diagnosis*
  • Syphilis, Cutaneous / pathology