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Novel predictors of neurosyphilis among HIV-negative syphilis patients with neurological symptoms: an observational study.

Novel predictors of neurosyphilis among HIV-negative syphilis patients with neurological symptoms: an observational study.
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Xiao Y, Tong ML, Liu LL, Lin LR, Chen MJ, Zhang HL, Zheng WH, Li SL, Lin HL, Lin ZF, Xing HQ, Niu JJ, Yang TC,


Xiao Y, Tong ML, Liu LL, Lin LR, Chen MJ, Zhang HL, Zheng WH, Li SL, Lin HL, Lin ZF, Xing HQ, Niu JJ, Yang TC, (click to view)

Xiao Y, Tong ML, Liu LL, Lin LR, Chen MJ, Zhang HL, Zheng WH, Li SL, Lin HL, Lin ZF, Xing HQ, Niu JJ, Yang TC,

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BMC infectious diseases 2017 04 2617(1) 310 doi 10.1186/s12879-017-2339-3

Abstract
BACKGROUND
Known predictors of neurosyphilis were mainly drawn from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected syphilis patients, which may not be applicable to HIV-negative populations as they have different characteristics, particularly those with neurological symptoms. This study aimed to identify novel predictors of HIV-negative symptomatic neurosyphilis (S-NS).

METHODS
From June 2005 to June 2015, 370 HIV-negative syphilis patients with neurological symptoms were recruited, consisting of 191 S-NS patients (including 123 confirmed neurosyphilis and 68 probable neurosyphilis patients) and 179 syphilis/non-neurosyphilis (N-NS) patients. Clinical and laboratory characteristics of S-NS were compared with N-NS to identify factors predictive of S-NS. Serum rapid plasma reagin (RPR), Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA), and their parallel testing format for screening S-NS were evaluated.

RESULTS
The likelihood of S-NS was positively associated with the serum RPR and TPPA titers. The serum TPPA titers performed better than the serum RPR titers in screening S-NS. The optimal cut-off points to recognize S-NS were serum RPR titer ≥1:4 and serum TPPA titer ≥1:2560 respectively. A parallel testing format of a serum RPR titer ≥1:2 and serum TPPA titer ≥1:1280 screened out 95.8% of S-NS and all confirmed cases of neurosyphilis. S-NS was independently associated with male sex, serum RPR titer ≥1:4, serum TPPA titer ≥1:2560, and elevated serum creatine kinase. Concurrence of these factors increased the likelihood of S-NS.

CONCLUSIONS
Quantitation of serum TPPA is worthwhile and performs better than serum RPR in screening S-NS. Serum RPR, serum TPPA, male sex, and serum creatine kinase can predict S-NS. Moreover, patients with both a serum RPR titer <1:2 and a serum TPPA titer <1:1280 have a low probability of S-NS, suggesting that it is reasonable to reduce lumbar punctures in such individuals.

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