A lung abscess caused by secondary syphilis - the utility of polymerase chain reaction techniques in transbronchial biopsy: a case report.BMC Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 09; 19(1):598.BI
In Japan and other countries, the number of patients with syphilis is increasing year by year. Recently, the cases of the pulmonary involvement in patients with secondary syphilis have been reported. However, it is still undetermined how to obtain a desirable specimen for a diagnosis of the pulmonary involvement, and how to treat it if not cured.
A 34-year-old man presented with cough and swelling of the right inguinal nodes. A physical examination revealed erythematous papular rash over the palms, soles and abdomen. A 4 cm mass in the right lower lobe of the lung was detected on computed tomography. He was diagnosed as having secondary syphilis, because he was tested positive for the rapid plasma reagin and Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay. Amoxycillin and probenecid were orally administered for 2 weeks. Subsequently, rash and serological markers were improved, however, the lung mass remained unchanged in size. Transbronchial biopsy (TBB) confirmed the pulmonary involvement of syphilis using polymerase chain reaction techniques (tpp47- and polA-PCR). Furthermore, following surgical resection revealed the lung mass to be an abscess.
To our knowledge, this is the first surgically treated case of a lung abscess caused by syphilis, which was diagnosed by PCR techniques in TBB. This report could propose a useful diagnostic method for the pulmonary involvement of syphilis.