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An old flame reignites: vagal neuropathy secondary to neurosyphilis


, : An old flame reignites: vagal neuropathy secondary to neurosyphilis. Journal of Voice 28(2): 255-257

This report describes neurosyphilis presenting as vocal fold paresis and velopharyngeal incompetence. This represents the first reported case of neurosyphilis presenting as a vagal neuropathy since 1963. Case report. Review of medical records and literature search. The patient presented with voice changes and nasopharyngeal reflux of liquids. Examination showed a left vocal fold paresis and moderate velopharyngeal incompetence. Laryngeal electromyography revealed evidence of denervation, and neurologic evaluation showed bilateral Adie's pupils and a positive CSF VDRL. A remote history of syphilis treated with one intramuscular injection was obtained. The patient was treated with 6 weeks of penicillin and regained normal vocal function with minimal residual intermittent hypernasality. Given the recent increase in the incidence of syphilis in the United States, this case serves as a reminder of the importance of including syphilis in the differential diagnosis of cranial neuropathies and the increasing likelihood of syphilis presenting to otolaryngology and speech pathology practices. Syphilis, a disease whose incidence had declined progressively for 60 years in the United States, is now resurgent and must be considered in the evaluation of patients presenting with unexplained cranial neuropathies.

US$19.90

PMID: 24315656

DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.08.018


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