The incidence of syphilis, after declining for several years, increased by 23% in the first quarter of 1987. The authors reviewed the charts of 100 patients with syphilis in order to determine how such patients were managed in a university setting. Although 77 patients met Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indications for lumbar puncture, only 11 patients had the procedure. Most patients for whom treatment was indicated either were not treated or were treated with inadequate or incorrect medications. Only 30 patients received follow-up serologic tests, and of these, only one received follow-up at the intervals recommended by the CDC. This study indicates that physicians may either be unfamiliar or disagree with the current CDC guidelines for evaluation and management of patients with syphilis. Physicians should know these guidelines and document their reasoning if they choose not to follow them. Long-term follow-up of patients with syphilis is important to ensure effective treatment and to increase understanding of this disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine