First report of tertiary syphilis presenting as lipoatrophic panniculitis in an immunocompetent patient

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We describe herein a woman who developed subcutaneous gummas in her trochanteric regions, bilaterally, although she had been treated for syphilis two decades earlier. Evidence of Treponema pallidum latent late infection was the presence of IgG antibodies against T. pallidum and the positive non-treponemal and treponemal tests. Moreover, immunohistochemical staining for T. pallidum detected some spirochetes close to the atrophic adipocytes allowing the diagnosis of lypo-atrophic panniculitis tertiary syphilis. This is the first case of tertiary syphilis presenting as panniculitis in an immunocompetent patient, demonstrating that subcutaneous fat may be another organ infected in tertiary syphilis.

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