STD

Primary Syphilis

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Primary Syphilis, Primary Genital Syphilis, Chancre

  • Signs
  1. Solitary Chancre (hallmark of Primary Syphilis)
    1. Painless Papule ulcerates
    2. Indurated lesion with smooth base and firm border
    3. Multiple lesions may be present
  2. Chancre distribution
    1. Forms a Genital Ulcer in nearly all cases (may form on Cervix or perianally)
      1. Chancre may be difficult to visualize
      2. Men
        1. Distal penis involved in most cases
      3. Men and women
        1. Anal and rectal involvement occurs in both men and women
        2. Carefully examine the perianal area
      4. Women
        1. Typically affects vagina and Cervix
        2. Use a speculum and examine the vaginal mucosa
        3. Examine the introitus and between the labia
    2. Extragenital involvement (fingers, Oral Mucosa, nipples) in up to 5-7% of cases
  3. Chancre Course
    1. Chancre at 10 to 90 days after exposure (mean 21 days)
    2. Chancre heals within 3 to 6 weeks without scarring and without treatment
      1. With treatment, Chancres may resolve in days
  4. Nonsuppurative Regional Lymphadenopathy (uncommon)
    1. Follows Chancre development within 30 days and resolves over months
  • Labs
  1. See Syphilis Testing
  2. Dark field exam of tissue sample may reveal Spirochetes
  3. Blood testing is often negative in Primary Syphilis
  • Management
  1. See Syphilis
  • References