In utero syphilis infection, or congenital syphilis, results from transplacental transmission of the maternal infection from the spirochete Treponema pallidum, subspecies pallidum.
For a general discussion, and for links to other system specific manifestations, please refer to the article on syphilis.
The pathogen is capable of crossing the placenta during any time in gestation.
The following tests can be assessed on maternal blood
- fluorescent treponemal antibody absorbed test (FTA-ABS)
- rapid plasma reagin (RPR)
- venereal disease research laboratory test (VDRL)
Sonographic features are often non specific and mimic those of the generalised in utero infection.
Such features include
In severe cases there may be evidence of
Treatment and prognosis
Treatment in often with penicillin. Fetal demise or still birth can occur in ~ 50% of untreated cases. Fetus developing hydrops tend to have a very poor prognosis.
- 1. Entezami M, Albig M, Knoll U et-al. Ultrasound Diagnosis of Fetal Anomalies. Thieme. (2003) ISBN:1588902129. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Reyna-figueroa J, Esparza-aguilar M, Hernández-hernández Ldel C et-al. Congenital syphilis, a reemergent disease in Mexico: its epidemiology during the last 2 decades. Sex Transm Dis. 2011;38 (9): 798-801. doi:10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31821898ca - Pubmed citation