JOURNAL ARTICLE

Asymptomatic Cardiovascular Syphilis With Aortic Regurgitation Requiring Surgical Repair in an HIV-Infected Patient

Daniel S Graciaa, Marina B Mosunjac, Kimberly A Workowski, Russell R Kempker
Open Forum Infectious Diseases 2017, 4 (4): ofx198
29181418
A 47-year-old man with HIV infection presented 10 years after initial secondary syphilis diagnosis and treatment for routine follow-up. His HIV was well controlled on antiretroviral therapy. Rapid plasma reagin was 1:1, and TP-PA was reactive. Physical examination revealed a wide pulse pressure, a systolic murmur, and an early diastolic decrescendo murmur. Echocardiogram revealed moderate to severe aortic regurgitation, and subsequent computed tomography angiogram showed a 6.8-cm fusiform aneurysm of the proximal ascending aorta. Aortic valve and ascending hemiarch replacement were performed. Pathology showed adventitial inflammation with plasma cells, gumma-like amorphous areas surrounded by histiocytes, and giant cells with calcified plaques. Cardiovascular syphilis, while rare, remains a relevant cause of aortic aneurysm, even in previously treated patients. The physical exam can be critical in identifying this potentially fatal complication.

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