Syphilis physical examination

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aysha Anwar, M.B.B.S[2]; Nate Michalak, B.A.

Sexually transmitted diseases Main Page

Syphilis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Syphilis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

X Ray




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy

Primary and Secondary Syphilis
Latent Syphilis
Tertiary Syphilis
HIV-Infected Patients
Management of Sexual Partners

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Syphilis physical examination On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Syphilis physical examination

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Syphilis physical examination

CDC on Syphilis physical examination

Syphilis physical examination in the news

Blogs on Syphilis physical examination

Directions to Hospitals Treating Syphilis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Syphilis physical examination


The physical examination findings of syphilis are described according to the stage of syphilis which includes non-tender chancre in primary syphilis followed by rash and generalized lymphadenopathy in secondary syphilis. Physical examination findings in tertiary syphilis depend on the organ system involved.[1][2][3]

Physical Examination

The physical examination findings of syphilis are described according to the stage of syphilis.[1][2][3]

Stage of syphilis Physical Examination Images
Primary syphilis


Regional lymphadenopathy

  • Unilateral or bilateral
  • Lymph nodes are firm, painless, non-tender and non-suppurative
Secondary syphilis

Cardinal signs

  • Skin rash: initial macular lesions on the trunk and proximal limbs with progressive generalized papular rash and may cause necrotic ulcers

Condylomata lata

  • Reddish-brown papular lesions on the intertriginous areas that coalesce and enlarge into large plaques known as condylomata lata
  • Lesions usually progress from painful vesicular pattern to erosive lesions with resultant broad, grey-white highly infectious lesions

Superficial mucosal patches

Latent syphilis
  • Asymptomatic (serologically positive)
Tertiary syphilis


  • Focal deficits
  • Intermittent or progresses slowly over a few days
  • Parenchymatous neurosyphilis

Cardiovascular syphilis

Gummatous lesions

  • Soft, asymmetric, coalscent granulomatous lesion
  • Solitary lesions less than a centimeter in diameter
  • Appear almost anywhere in the body
  • Cutaneous gumma: indurated, nodular, papulosquamous to ulcerative lesions with peripheral hyperpigmentation


  1. 1.0 1.1 Singh AE, Romanowski B (1999). "Syphilis: review with emphasis on clinical, epidemiologic, and some biologic features". Clin Microbiol Rev. 12 (2): 187–209. PMC 88914. PMID 10194456.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carlson JA, Dabiri G, Cribier B, Sell S (2011). "The immunopathobiology of syphilis: the manifestations and course of syphilis are determined by the level of delayed-type hypersensitivity". Am J Dermatopathol. 33 (5): 433–60. doi:10.1097/DAD.0b013e3181e8b587. PMC 3690623. PMID 21694502.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wöhrl S, Geusau A (2007). "Clinical update: syphilis in adults". Lancet. 369 (9577): 1912–4. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60895-2. PMID 17560432.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Dermatology Atlas".
  5. Sapira JD (1981 Apr). ""Quincke, de Musset, Duroziez, and Hill: some aortic regurgitations"". South Med J. 74 (4): 459–67. Check date values in: |date= (help)

Template:WikiDoc Sources