Evaluating congenital syphilis in a reverse sequence testing environment

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2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the effect of maternal reverse-sequence (RS) syphilis screening on management of infants at risk for congenital syphilis (CS) using a standardized approach. Study design: A retrospective study from 2011 to 2014 at an academic medical center using RS testing, involving chemiluminescent immunoassay (CIA), rapid plasma reagin (RPR), and fluorescent treponemal antibody-absorption (FTA-ABS) assays for syphilis. Clinical management and outcomes of infants born to mothers with discordant (CIA+/RPR−/FTA+) serology were compared with national or internal guidelines. Results: Sixty-three infants were classified as discordant (n = 21), presumed false positive (CIA+/RPR−/FTA−; n = 16), or true positive (CIA+/RPR+; n = 26) based on maternal serology. Only 24% of cases in the discordant group underwent recommended full evaluation. None of the evaluated infants in the discordant group (n = 8) were diagnosed with CS. Conclusions: Management of infants with discordant maternal RS serology remained reliant on clinical judgment. In our high-risk population, RS testing did not identify additional cases of CS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-963
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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