Pulmonary involvement of secondary syphilis

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Abstract

Pulmonary involvement in secondary syphilis is considered a rare occurrence; however, the number of cases has increased in the 2000s. This is likely due to the increased use of computed tomography scans and molecular diagnostic testing. We report a case of an HIV-positive man with pleural chest pain and bilateral subpleural nodules on chest computed tomography. His rapid plasma reagin and Treponema pallidum hemagglutination tests were positive, and the specimen of one of the pulmonary nodules obtained by transthoracic biopsy was positive for the polA gene of Treponema pallidum. Since clinical manifestations of syphilis are highly variable, clinicians should bear in mind that pleural chest pain with bilateral subpleural nodules can be caused by pulmonary syphilis.

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