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Screening test done for syphilis. What are the findings and should I go for syphilis shot?

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Emergency Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2006
Answered : 300 Questions
hi I just had lab work done where i had high lipase 80 U/L an my hepatic function level ALT 41 U\L and AST 39 U/L and TSH 0.21 mIU/L and RPR titer 1:8 ... the first doctor send me to health department to get a syphilis shot but when I got there they said by these results where not enough to say I have syphilis that it looks like a false positive that my hepatic levels and alter the results if titer.. Can this be possible ??
Posted Tue, 19 Feb 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Sheeba Stephen 5 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) is a screening test for syphilis. However it is not a confirmatory test and there can be false positives. Some conditions which can give a false positive result are:

Lyme disease
Certain types of pneumonia
Impairment in Liver functioning
autoimmune disorders
Tuberculosis (TB)

A titre of 1:8 on an RPR is significant. Though it is possible that a deranged liver function can cause a false positive, in your case, your liver functions are only mildly deranged and may not be sufficient enough to cause a false positive.

In such cases, when there is a doubt, rather than just presuming that it is a false positive, it is better to do a confirmatory test for syphilis, such as TPHA or FTA-ABS. Please discuss this with your doctor.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
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