The clinical spectrum of syphilitic balanitis of Follmann: report of five cases and a review of the literature

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Abstract

Background

Eugène Follmann first described syphilitic balanitis as a manifestation of primary syphilis in 1948 and since then it has been known as syphilitic balanitis of Follmann (SBF). So far, SBF has rarely been described in literature.

Objectives

We are reporting five additional cases of SBF considering the broad differential diagnosis of balanitis.

Methods

A review of the available literature of SBF was performed and five additional cases analyzed.

Results

In our case series, the clinical appearance of SBF shows a heterogeneous spectrum varying from painful oedematous balanoposthitis with beginning paraphimosis to superficial erosive balanitis and even to painless induration of the glans.

Conclusions

SBF might be seen more frequently than has been described due to misinterpretation. Therefore primary syphilis should be included in the differential diagnosis of balanitis and balanoposthitis.

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