SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.77 issue2Burnout syndrome: are stroke neurologists at a higher risk?Baseline disease characteristics in Brazilian patients enrolled in Transthyretin Amyloidosis Outcome Survey (THAOS) author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


VERSIANI, Isadora; CABRAL-CASTRO, Mauro Jorge  and  PUCCIONI-SOHLER, Marzia. A comparison of nontreponemal tests in cerebrospinal fluid for neurosyphilis diagnosis: equivalent detection of specific antibodies. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2019, vol.77, n.2, pp.91-95. ISSN 0004-282X.

Syphilis is a re-emerging sexually-transmitted infection, caused by the spirochete Treponema pallidum, that may penetrate early into the central nervous system. The venereal disease research laboratory test (VDRL) on the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is the most widely used for neurosyphilis diagnosis. We evaluated the performance of two other nontreponemal tests (rapid plasma reagin [RPR] and unheated serum reagin [USR] tests) in comparison with the VDRL in CSF.


We analyzed CSF samples from 120 individuals based on VDRL reactivity in the CSF and the clinical picture of neurosyphilis.


High inter-rater reliability was found among all three tests, with equivalent sensitivity and specificity. Intraclass correlation coefficient for absolute agreement was 1 for VDRL versus USR, 0.99 for VDRL versus RPR, and 0.99 for RPR versus USR.


Rapid plasma reagin and unheated serum reagin tests were identified as excellent alternatives for neurosyphilis diagnosis.

Keywords : cerebrospinal fluid; neurosyphilis.

        · abstract in Portuguese     · text in English     · English ( pdf )