A case of secondary syphilis presenting as multiple pulmonary nodules.

The Korean journal of internal medicine

PubMedID: 23526483

Kim SJ, Lee JH, Lee ES, Kim IH, Park HJ, Shin C, Kim JH. A case of secondary syphilis presenting as multiple pulmonary nodules. Korean J Intern Med. 2013;28(2):231-5.
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum. The prevalence of this disease has recently increased worldwide. However, pulmonary involvement in secondary syphilis is extremely rare. A 51-year-old heterosexual male patient presented with multiple pulmonary nodules with reactive serology from the Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test and positive fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption testing. A hematogenous metastatic malignancy was suspected and an excisional lung biopsy was performed. Histopathological examination showed only central necrosis with abscess and plasma cell infiltration, but no malignant cells. The patient reported sexual contact with a prostitute 8 weeks previously and a penile lesion 6 weeks earlier. Physical examination revealed an erythematous papular rash on the trunk. Secondary syphilis with pulmonary nodules was suspected, and benzathine penicillin G, 2.4 million units, was administered. Subsequently, the clinical signs of syphilis improved and the pulmonary nodules resolved. The final diagnosis was secondary syphilis with pulmonary nodular involvement.