Ischemic stroke as a primary symptom of neurosyphilis among HIV-negative emergency patients
- 医学院－已发表论文 
Background: Neurosyphilis is known as "the great imitator" or "the great impostor" because of its wide range of clinical symptoms. A high misdiagnosis rate of ischemic stroke was observed among neurosyphilis patients in clinical practice, which prevents patients from receiving the most appropriate treatment, and often results in more severe neurologic damage. Methods: A total of 149 neurosyphilis patients were retrospectively reviewed. The control group comprised 1570 non-neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke patients. The proportion of patients with ischemic stroke as the primary symptom of the different types of neurosyphilis and the misdiagnosis rate of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke were analyzed, including the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Results: Among the 149 neurosyphilis patients. 21 (14.09%) developed ischemic stroke as a primary symptom, including three cases of syphilitic meningitis and 18 cases of meningovascular neurosyphilis. Only four of the neurosyphilis patients had histories of ischemic stroke and recurrence. The other 17 cases were treated for the first time in the emergency department; however, none of the patients were initially suspected of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke. All of the patients were only diagnosed with neurosyphilis during their follow-up treatment. The misdiagnosis rate of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke was as high as 80.95% (17/21). Furthermore, except for hypertension, no significant differences in cardiovascular risk factors were observed between the groups (P>0.05). Conclusions: In clinical practice, particularly during emergencies, any ischemic stroke patient should be screened for neurosyphilis. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationJOURNAL OF THE NEUROLOGICAL SCIENCES,2012,317:35-39