Primary Syphilis and Nonimmune Fetal Hydrops in a Penicillin-Allergic Woman. A Case Report

J Reprod Med. 1994 May;39(5):412-4.


The incidence of congenital syphilis is on the rise. Penicillin continues to be the drug of choice for it during pregnancy. A penicillin-allergic woman with primary stage syphilis who was treated initially with erythromycin presented with fever and nonimmune fetal hydrops secondary to an intrauterine syphilitic infection. Following desensitization and penicillin therapy the fetal hydrops disappeared, the pregnancy continued to term, and the patient delivered a small-for-gestational-age but other-wise normal infant who continued to do well up to 1 year of age.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Erythromycin / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrops Fetalis / diagnostic imaging
  • Hydrops Fetalis / etiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Male
  • Penicillins / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy*
  • Syphilis / drug therapy*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal*


  • Penicillins
  • Erythromycin