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Syphilitic pancreatitis: A rare mimicker of our time

B W Mekonnen, K Jansen, R Razack, A Doruyter, R Pitcher

Abstract


We present an unusual case of syphilitic pancreatitis and ascending aortitis in a 41-year-old HIV-negative male patient presenting to a tertiary institution with obstructive jaundice. After a battery of investigations that included computed tomography (CT) and 18F-labelled fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/CT (18F-FDG PET/CT) imaging, syphilis serology and histology, a diagnosis of tertiary syphilis was made. The patient responded favourably to antibiotics, with resolution of all lesions on FDG PET/CT 13 weeks after initiation of therapy. Even though tertiary syphilis is a rare entity, it should be earmarked as a mimicker of other pathological conditions, including, in this case, primary pancreatic malignancy.


Authors' affiliations

B W Mekonnen, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

K Jansen, Division of Radiodiagnosis, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

R Razack, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A Doruyter, NuMeRI Node for Infection Imaging, Central Analytical Facilities, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

R Pitcher, Division of Radiodiagnosis, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Syphilis; Pancreatitis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(7):642-645. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14518

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-07-07
Date published: 2020-07-07

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