syphilis refers to the infection of the heart and
related blood vessels by the syphilis bacteria. This complication usually
begins as an
inflammation of the arteries. Destruction caused by
cardiovascular syphilis can be life-threatening.
Complications of cardiovascular syphilis include:
- Narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood
to the heart, which may lead to chest pain (angina),
heart attack, and possibly death.
to heart valves that may lead to
- Aortic aneurysm. If a vessel becomes weak enough, it can rupture and cause
Antibiotic treatment cures the syphilis infection and
stops the progress of cardiovascular syphilis. But the damage that has already
occurred may not be reversed.
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Devika Singh, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease
September 29, 2011
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