This site is targeted at medical and radiology professionals, contains user contributed content, and material that may be confusing to a lay audience. Use of this site implies acceptance of our Terms of Use.

Luetic aneurysm

Luetic aneurysms (also called syphilitic aneurysms) are a type of aneurysm occurring usually secondary to syphilitic aortitis


The responsible organism is a spirochete Treponema pallidum and Ascending aorta is mostly involved.

Syphilitic aortitis takes place during the stage of tertiary syphilis between 5 to 30 years after initiation of primary syphilis. This is normally due to infection of aorta secondary to endarteritis obliterans of vasa-vasorum.

Aortic wall becomes progressively weakened due to chronic inflammation. This will subsequently lead to aneurysm (10%), coronary artery narrowing at ostium (30%) and aortic valve insufficiency secondary to the involvement of aortic valve.

Radiographic features


Findings include:

  • saccular asymmetric aortic aneurysm
  • aortic root branches involvement

We can not accurately measure aneurysm by using angiography. This is normally due to intra-aneurysmal/ mural thrombosis and calcification, layering of the contrast and magnification.,


The findings of CT may include:

  • extensive thickening of aortic wall with peri-aortic inflammation
  • asymmetrical aortic sinus involvement
  • saccular aneurysms and heavily calcified ascending aorta
  • "tree bark" intimal calcifications due to intimal wrinkling

Treatment and prognosis

High-dose antibiotics and resection of enlarging aneurysm.

History and etymology

The term "Lues" is an old name for syphilis, derived from Latin lues for "filth".

Updating… Please wait.


Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert_accept Thank you for updating your details.