A Case of Rupioid Syphilis Masquerading as Aggressive Cutaneous Lymphoma

Jonathan Braue, Thomas Hagele, Abraham Tareq Yacoub, Suganya Mannivanan, Frank Glass, Lubomir Sokol, John Norman Greene
  • Jonathan Braue
    University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine 12901 Bruce B. Down Blvd Tampa, Florida 33612-4742, United States
  • Thomas Hagele
    University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery 12901 Bruce B. Down Blvd Tampa, Florida 33612-4742, United States
  • Abraham Tareq Yacoub
    Moffitt Cancer Center 12902 Magnolia Drive Tampa, Florida 33612-9497, United States
  • Suganya Mannivanan
    University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine 1 Tampa General Circle, G323 Tampa, Florida 33612-9497, United States
  • Frank Glass
    Moffitt Cancer Center Department of Cutaneous Oncology 12902 Magnolia Drive Tampa, Florida 33612-9497,
  • Lubomir Sokol
    Moffitt Cancer Center Department of Cutaneous Oncology 12902 Magnolia Drive Tampa, Florida 33612-9497,
  • John Norman Greene
    Section Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine - Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa FL Professor of Medicine, United States | john.greene@moffitt.org


Secondary syphilis has been known since the late 19th century as the great imitator; however, some experts now regard cutaneous lymphoma as the great imitator of skin disease. Either disease, at times an equally fastidious diagnosis, has reported to even mimic each other. It is thus vital to consider these possibilities when presented with a patient demonstrating peculiar skin lesions. No other manifestation of secondary syphilis may pose such quandary as a rare case of rupioid syphilis impersonating cutaneous lymphoma. We present such a case, of a 36-year-old HIV positive male, misdiagnosed with aggressive cutaneous lymphoma, actually exhibiting rupioid syphilis thought secondary to immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS).


Syphilis; Immunocompromised; Cutaneous lymphoma

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Submitted: 2014-12-19 22:38:31
Published: 2015-04-19 00:00:00
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