Cardiovascular lesions – Late Syphilis – Symptoms, diagnosis, treatments

The most common forms of cardiovascular syphilis are the aneurysm of the aorta and aortic stenosis/incompetence.

Aneurysm of the aorta

Aneurysm of the aorta usual y affects the arch of the aorta. Before the days of modern medicine, it sometimes presented clinically as a pulsating tumor bulging through the anterior chest wall, gradually enlarging and then rupturing (illustrated in Figs below).

Specimen of aneurysm of aorta

♦ This specimen of an aneurysm of
the ascending thoracic aorta was one of the
Scottish surgeon John Hunter’s cases from
the late 1770s. The patient was a 55-year-old
British soldier in the Indian Army: he returned
to London with a pulsating tumor bulging
through his chest. It grew larger over a period
of a year and then ruptured. The arrow labeled
‘A’ shows a rib.
Wax Model in paris

♦ Wax model in the Dupuytren Museum in Paris,
France, depicts an aortic aneurysm bulging through the
chest of a patient who was seen at about the same time
as the John Hunter case illustrated in 1st Figure.

Cardiovascular lesions specimen
 Wax model in the Dupuytren Museum in Paris,
France, of a postmortem specimen of a syphilitic
aneurysm of the ascending thoracic aorta bulging
through the anterior chest wall. Death was due to
rupture of the aneurysm.

Microscopic appearances of syphilitic aortitis
Later manifestations of syphilis

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