Utility of the VDRL test in HIV-seropositive patients

Joseph Drabick, Edmund C. Tramont

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


To the Editor: The Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) and other nontreponemal tests for syphilis measure the levels of antibody directed against a cardiolipin—lecithin antigen. False positive reactions can occur in patients with immunoglobulin abnormalities. Patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often have polyclonal gammopathy, and a majority have anticardiolipin antibodies.1 False positive nontreponemal tests in patients with HIV make it difficult to evaluate the response to therapy in patients who have syphilis, as exemplified by the following case report. A 61-year-old man with a history of heterosexual promiscuity and syphilis treated in the 1950s presented with hairy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271
Number of pages1
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 25 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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