We describe two human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with syphilitic cerebral gummas. Both patients presented with a seizure disorder associated with an isolated, peripherally located, contrast-enhancing lesion of the brain on CT. Cranial MRI performed on one patient revealed durai thickening in the region of the lesion. A brain biopsy in that patient revealed a lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate with extensive perivascular inflammation. Clinical manifestations, radiographic resolution of the lesions, and a decline in nontreponemal serologic tests for syphilis followed high-dose aqueous penicillin therapy in both patients. These patients illustrate that (1) cerebral mass lesions occurring with HIV infection may result from syphilis; (2) seizures may be the presenting manifestation of this form of neurosyphilis; and (3) high-dose, intravenous, aqueous penicillin is effective in treating these lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology