Liver disease in early syphilis

Arch Intern Med. 1979 Mar;139(3):365-6.


Atypical manifestations of early syphilis, although uncommon, may represent diagnostic difficulties and delay therapy. We describe two cases of hepatitis complicating early syphilis. Clues to the diagnosis of early syphilitic hepatitis include the presence of perianal lesions and disproportionate increases in the serum alkaline phosphatase level. Biopsy results were nonspecific. The major differential diagnostic consideration is hepatitis B with false-positive serologic findings. The abnormalities of liver function respond to standard therapy for secondary syphilis. Follow-up of patients and their contacts is essential.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests
  • Hepatitis / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis A / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis A / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillin G Procaine / therapeutic use
  • Syphilis / complications*
  • Syphilis / diagnosis
  • Syphilis / drug therapy


  • Penicillin G Procaine
  • Alkaline Phosphatase