To describe the clinical and angiographic features of a series of patients with acute syphilitic posterior placoid chorioretinitis (ASPPC) in the context of previously published cases.
A retrospective, noncomparative, multicenter chart review was performed on 16 patients with active ASPPC. Positive serologic tests supported the diagnosis in all patients. Color and red-free photographs as well as fluorescein angiography were obtained in each case. Indocyanine green angiography, optical coherence tomography, and fundus autofluorescence were performed on selected patients. A total of 44 previously published cases of ASPPC were identified using both a Medline Search and references listed in articles identified.
Ocular involvement was bilateral in 9 of our 16 patients (56.3%). The mean and median ages at presentation were 40 and 38 years, respectively (range 28–57 years). Nine patients (56.3%) were human immunodeficiency virus positive, with most recent CD4 cell counts ranging from 160 cells/μL to 450 cells/μL and a median CD4 cell count of 250 cells/μL. Seven of 16 patients (43.8%) had a history of mucocutaneous manifestations of secondary syphilis, whereas 4 (25.0%) had evidence of neurosyphilis. Anterior chamber and/or vitreous inflammation was evident in 13 patients (81.3%). Fifteen of 16 patients had positive venereal disease research laboratory or rapid plasma regain titers, and 13 of 13 tested patients had a positive serum fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption. The initial vision in the 25 affected eyes ranged from 20/20 to counting fingers, with a median of 20/80. In all patients, posterior segment examination in the involved eyes revealed a large, yellowish, placoid, outer retinal lesion. Fluorescein angiography showed progressive hyperfluorescence in the area of the lesion, often with scattered focal hypofluorescence, or leopard spotting. Inflammation subsided, the yellowish lesions resolved, and vision improved shortly after antibiotic therapy in 20 of 25 affected eyes. Visual acuity at last visit ranged from 20/20 to 20/150, with a median final vision of 20/25. A review of the literature revealed 44 previously reported cases of ASPPC. Shared demographic, clinical, and angiographic features were summarized.
Acute syphilitic posterior placoid chorioretinitis is an uncommon but clinically and angiographically distinct manifestation of ocular syphilis. All patients with characteristic clinical and angiographic findings of ASPPC should be tested for both neurosyphilis and human immunodeficiency virus coinfection. Vision recovery typically followed completion of appropriate antibiotic therapy.