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Missed opportunities to treat: syphilis in pregnancy
  1. Kirsty Le Doaré,
  2. Hannah Gannon,
  3. Jennifer Handforth
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Croydon University NHS Trust, Croydon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kirsty Le Doaré, Department of Paediatrics, Croydon University NHS Trust, London Road, Croydon CR7 7YE, UK; kirstyledoare{at}

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In all, 35% of all UK-reported cases of syphilis in 2010 arose in London, 40% in women of childbearing age.1 Adequate antenatal screening aims to prevent cases of congenital syphilis. In England estimates show 95% of pregnant women are screened for syphilis; this hides wide regional variation (77%–100%).2 Evidence from London demonstrated complicated current follow-up practices leading to inadequacies in investigation, treatment and follow-up of pregnant women that may lead to unnecessary cases of congenital syphilis.3

We conducted a retrospective audit at Croydon University NHS Trust of the case notes of all women presenting in pregnancy with positive syphilis serology (positive Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL)/rapid plasma reagin …

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