Exudative retinal detachment and retinitis associated with acquired syphilitic uveitis.
PURPOSE: To describe three cases of exudative retinal detachment and focal retinitis associated with acquired syphilitic uveitis. METHODS: Three patients who were referred for evaluation of uveitis were examined. Slit-lamp examination, ophthalmoscopy, B-scan ultrasonography, fundus photography, and fluorescein angiography were performed before and after therapy. RESULTS: Each patient had uveitis with exudative retinal detachment, periphlebitis, and focal retinitis. Laboratory testing (fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption) revealed positive serology for active syphilis in all cases. Human immunodeficiency virus antibody testing was negative in all patients. Retinal detachment resolved in all cases after treatment with intravenous penicillin. Despite resolution of subretinal fluid, visual acuity remained poor in eyes in which the macula was detached. CONCLUSION: Syphilis is a cause of exudative retinal detachment. Antibiotic therapy can lead to retinal reattachment. Early recognition and treatment may prevent severe vision loss.
Jumper, JM; Machemer, R; Gallemore, RP; Jaffe, GJ
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