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Case report
Secondary syphilis mimicking inflammatory bowel disease
  1. Pedro Vasconcelos1,
  2. João Borges-Costa1,2,
  3. Helena Loreto3,
  4. Sacramento Marques1
  1. 1Dermatology Service, Santa Maria Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal
  2. 2Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Lisbon, Portugal
  3. 3Paediatric Gastroenterology Unit, Santa Maria Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pedro Vasconcelos, Hospital de Santa Maria, Serviço de Dermatologia, Av. Professor Egas Moniz, 1649-035 Lisboa, Portugal; jp_vasconcelos{at}


This study reports the case of a 15-year-old male patient with extensive anal inflammation, cobblestone-like mucosa and areas of ulceration, loose bloody stool and weight loss for 8 weeks, suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease. Genital lesions of syphilides were later observed and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test was positive, thus benzyl penicillin treatment was prescribed with total resolution of genital and bowel symptoms.

  • HPV
  • HSV
  • syphilis

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  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.