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Need help with possible late stage syphillis

Hi-
At the begining of last year I began to have tightness is my chest, heart palpitations, and other strange cardiovascular symptoms.  I went to the ER had a EKG, Chest xray, and stress test done all which were normal.  The tightness continued and during last summer I began to have severe malaise, lost 15 pounds, anxiety, nausea, innability to sleep, etc...  I went to the Dr. all labs came back normal.  I had an HIV test done which was negative..  cbc normal, ct scan normal, etc.  In desparation I took a zpack last summer and it seemed to make my symptoms abate for a period of 5 or 6 hours....  I've continued to have strange symptoms-  fatigue, sleepliness, bad memory, lack of concentration and most recently I seem to have all my joints issues, making strange noises, etc.  Several years ago my left knee blew up for no apparent reason one night, it was hot to the touch, stiff and swollen.  I eventually ended up having the knee scoped which took a good 6 months to recover from.  I went back to the doctor and he did an RPR (which was negative) and an FTS-ABS which was negative, he also did a western blot for lyme which was negative but reactive on band 19.  At this time he put me on doxycycline which seemed to help over the period of a few days.  Then I remembered back in college having a sore on my genitals for a couple weeks- never went to dr.   I also had a rash in the gential area that doctors thought was ring worm..

Based on all these things I went to a Lyme Disease specialist who said my symptoms were consistent with Borreliosis and he's treating me as such......   I've been on Doxycycline for 3 weeks or so and am feeling a little better it seems.  

Is there a definitive blood test for late stage cardiovascular or nuerosyphillis?  Any ideas on what other testing or suggestions on what to do?  Is it possible to have late stage syphillis but have a negative RPR and FTA-ABS?  

Any help, guidance or suggestions are much appreciated.  Thanks!

1 Responses
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to our Forum.  I am sorry to hear of the difficulties that you are having.  Such problems can have many causes but from what you have told me, there is virtually no chance that you have syphilis or that you need treatment for syphilis.  

At the present time in the United States, cardiac syphilis is extraordinarily rare (as a matter of fact it is really mostly a disease of historical interest) and is typically diagnosed on the basis of clinical findings such as heart valve dysfunction and reactive blood tests (RPR and FTA-ABS) for syphilis.  No one would make the diagnosis of cardiac syphilis unless the blood test was positive.

It sounds to me as though you have good doctors working hard on your problem.  Stick with them and keep working towards getting things sorted out.  One thing that you do not need to worry about however is syphilis.

I hope this helps.  Take care.  EWH
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