Optical Coherence Tomography Findings in Ocular Syphilis Involving the Posterior Segment of the Eye

Anagha Vaze, Rafael E. De Angelis, Milena Simões, Tiago E. Arantes, Renata Moreto, Genevieve F. Oliver, Justine R. Smith, João M. Furtado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To analyse posterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings in ocular syphilis. Methods: Medical records of 54 patients presenting consecutively with syphilitic uveitis were reviewed. Vitreous, retina and choroid (one eye/patient) were assessed by spectral-domain OCT on presentation (54 eyes) and after treatment (31 eyes). Improvement in signs and associations between presenting signs and final best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were determined by McNemar’s and Fisher’s exact tests. Results: Early inner retinal OCT findings included hyperreflective dots (n = 49, 91%), tongue-like projections (n = 44, 81%) and large rounded spots (n = 41, 76%). Common outer retinal findings included thickening, irregularity, elevations and/or detachment of retinal pigment epithelium (n = 46, 85%), and disruption or loss of the ellipsoid zone (n = 33, 61%). Most outer retinal changes resolved with treatment (p < .05), and common presenting signs were not associated with poor final BCVA (p > .05). Conclusion: OCT findings have diagnostic value in ocular syphilis, but do not predict prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1464-1470
Number of pages7
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number6
Early online date15 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • eye
  • optical coherence tomography
  • retina
  • Syphilis
  • uveitis


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