Skip to main content

Liver involvement in secondary syphilis


The results of biochemical assessment of liver function are reported in 18 patients with secondary syphilis. In 9 of the patients, enzyme abnormalities were found and the most consistant abnormality was an elevated alkaline phosphatase. Six of the patients had a liver biopsy before treatment and the main findings were mononuclear cell infiltration around the central veins and portal tracts. In all patients, the biochemical abnormality returned to normal with treatment of the syphilis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Wile UJ, Karshner RC: Icterus gravis syphiliticus: Its relation to acute yellow atrophy. JAMA 68:1311–1314, 1917

    Google Scholar 

  2. Hahn R: Syphilis of the liver. Am J Syphilis 27:529–562, 1943

    Google Scholar 

  3. Baker AL, Kaplan MM, Wolfe HJ, McGowan JA: Liver disease associated with early syphilis. N Engl J Med 284:1422–1423, 1971

    Google Scholar 

  4. Lee RV, Thornton GF, Conn HO: Liver disease associated with secondary syphilis. N Engl J Med 284:1423–1425, 1971

    Google Scholar 

  5. McCracken JD, Hall WH, Pierce HI: Nephrotic syndrome and acute hepatitis Mil Med 134:682–686, 1969

    Google Scholar 

  6. Parker JD: Uncommon complications of early syphilis. Br J Vener Dis 48:32–33, 1972

    Google Scholar 

  7. McMillan A, Anderson JR, Roberton DHH: Hepatitis in early syphilis. Br J Vener Dis 53:295–298, 1977

    Google Scholar 

  8. Feher J, Somogyi T, Timmer M, Jossa L: Early syphilitic hepatitis. Lancet 2:896–899, 1975

    Google Scholar 

  9. Leonard MF: Acute yellow atrophy of the liver in early syphilis. Am J Med Sci 208:461–470, 1944

    Google Scholar 

  10. Sehgal VN, Rege VL: Malignant syphilis and hepatitis. Br J Vener Dis 50:237–238, 1974

    Google Scholar 

  11. Turner TB, Hardy PH, Newman B: Infectivity tests in syphilis. Br J Vener Dis 45:183–196, 1969

    Google Scholar 

  12. Zellman HE, Norcross JW: Early syphilitis hepatitis. Lahey Clin Bull 16:255–259, 1967

    Google Scholar 

  13. Pareek SS: Secondary syphilis and hepatitis. The Practitioner 219:879–881

  14. Karmin G, Thirkettle JL, Read AEA: The association of syphilis with hepatic cirrhosis: A report of 6 cases and review of the literature. Post Grad Med J 45:675–679, 1969

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Pareek, S.S. Liver involvement in secondary syphilis. Digest Dis Sci 24, 41–43 (1979).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: