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Clinical manifestations of syphilitic chorioretinitis: a retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: Syphilitic chorioretinitis can produce severe vision loss. However, the clinical manifestations of syphilitic chorioretinitis are still unclear, particularly during different stages. Herein, we will present our diagnostic technique for syphilitic chorioretinitis.

METHODS: This retrospective study recruited 109 cases; we performed a clinical evaluation including case history, serology analysis, fundus photography, fluorescein fundus angiography with or without indocyanine green angiography, auto-fluorescence, and optical coherence tomography.

RESULTS: 109 were diagnosed with acute syphilitic posterior placoid chorioretinitis by fundus photograph that revealed filthy, yellowish-white lesions. For autofluorescence, during early-stage syphilitic chorioretinitis, hyperfluorescence could be observed. During the convalescence stage, the fluorescence became hypofluorescence or disappeared. Fluorescein fundus angiography indicated early-stage transmitted fluorescence or hypofluorescence. During the venous stage, the lesion area had fluorescent leakage, mostly accompanied by retinal vasculitis. During the late stage, speckle staining was observed with optic disc fluorescence. Hypofluorescence or undistinguishable fluorescence was seen at an early stage with indocyanine green angiography. At an advanced stage, the lesion had obvious hypofluorescence. Optical coherence tomography indicated various inner segment/outer segment damage, accompanied by retinal pigment epithelium impairment. The inner segment/outer segment alteration could be lessened with treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical manifestations of syphilitic chorioretinitis include impaired vision, shadow blocking, or photopsia of one or both eyes. Fundus photography, fluorescein fundus angiography with or without indocyanine green angiography, autofluorescence, and optical coherence tomography could be useful accessory examinations. Autofluorescence and optical coherence tomography could be the main examinations for monitoring disease progression.

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