Skip to Content

tabetic neurosyphilis


Definition: a type of late tertiary syphilis, seen predominantly in men; its major clinical manifestations are ataxia, urinary incontinence, and brief lancinating pains (“lightning pains”), which can affect any portion of the body, but particularly the legs; clinical abnormalities are Argyll-Robertson pupils, optic atrophy, impaired vibration and position sense, as well as absent deep tendon reflexes in the lower limbs, and a positive Romberg sign; pathologic studies reveal marked thinning of the dorsal roots, principally in the lumbosacral region, and degeneration of the posterior columns of the spinal cord; often no evidence of active syphilis is present at this late stage.

Synonym(s): myelosyphilis, posterior sclerosis, posterior spinal sclerosis, tabes dorsales

Disclaimer: This site is designed to offer information for general educational purposes only. The health information furnished on this site and the interactive responses are not intended to be professional advice and are not intended to replace personal consultation with a qualified physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. You must always seek the advice of a professional for questions related to a disease, disease symptoms, and appropriate therapeutic treatments.
© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.