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Medicine (MD/DO)
Syphilis TORCH

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Syphilis TORCH

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Syphilis TORCH

Syphilis-Sisyphus Torch
Syphilis is a spirochete bacterial infection that can cause a congenital TORCH infection. TORCH infections are infections that are acquired in utero or during the birthing process, and the acronym TORCH represents Toxoplasmosis, Others (Syphilis, Varicella, Mumps, Parvovirus, HIV), Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes Simplex. Congenital syphilis typically occurs in infants born from a mother with secondary syphilis, characterized by disseminated rash on the palms and soles, and condyloma lata. In infants, nonspecific signs common to many TORCH infections include hepatosplenomegaly, jaundice, and thrombocytopenia. Congenital syphilis infection can result in stillbirth or hydrops fetalis of the infant. If the child survives, deformities of the bone are common, especially in the nose and lower legs causing saddle nose and saber shins, respectively. Other bone deformities including notched teeth and short maxilla. Blindness and deafness are also common manifestations of congenital syphilis as is hepatitis.
Nonspecific TORCH Symptoms
Yellow torch made of liver and trombone peanut

Nonspecific signs common to many torch infections include hepatosplenomegaly, jaundice and thrombocytopenia.

Often Results in Stillbirth
Baby stone statue

Stillbirth refers to death of a fetus inside the uterus and can be caused by congenital syphilis infection.

Hydrops Fetalis
Eye-drop Fetus

Hydrops fetalis is characterized by abnormal accumulation of fluid in two or more areas of the body of a fetus or newborn and can occur as consequence of congenital syphilis infection.

Saber Shins
Saber-tooth-tiger biting Shin

Bone deformities of the shin are common in congenital syphilis and can result in malformation of the tibia, commonly called saber shins. Saber shins are characterized by a sharp anterior bowing of the tibia.

Notched Teeth
Notched teeth

Bone deformities are common in congenital syphilis infection and include notched teeth. Notched teeth refer to teeth that have notches on the biting surfaces and are typically smaller and more widely spaced than normal. Notched teeth are also called Hutchinson's teeth and are characteristic of congenital syphilis.

Saddle Nose
Saddle on Nose

Saddle nose refers to collapse of the bridge of the nose and is a common manifestation of congenital syphilis infection.


Blindness is a common manifestation of congenital syphilis infection and can result from inflammation of the cornea which leads to corneal scarring.


Sensorineural hearing loss, associated with damage to cranial nerve VIII, is a common manifestation of congenital syphilis infection.


Inflammation of the liver is a known manifestation of congenital syphilis.


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