Wei-Hong Zheng

Fujian Medical University, Amoy, Fujian, China

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Publications (12)30.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study characterizes psychiatric manifestations as primary symptom of neurosyphilis (NS). Fifty-two of the 169 NS patients presented with psychiatric manifestations, many patients had characteristics of more than one syndrome, including cognitive impairment, personality disorders, delirium, hostility, dysarthria, confusion, disruption of their sleep-wake cycle, fecal and urinary incontinence, dysphoria, paranoia, hallucinations, expansive mood, and mania. Fifty-two patients had positive sera RPR and T. pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA), 75% had positive CSF RPR, 96.2% had positive CSF TPPA, 44.2% had CSF pleocytosis and elevated CSF proteins, and 70.0% had nonspecific, abnormal brain MRIs. These results indicate that NS mimics almost all psychiatric disorders.
    The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 04/2014; · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Background: Neurosyphilis (NS) may present with neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by cognitive impairment, personality disorders, and confusion, among others. Very few studies have focused on neuropsychiatric disorders secondary to NS in elderly people. Method: A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the psychiatric findings, clinical signs and symptoms, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results of ten elderly inpatients with NS. Results: In these ten patients, the most common presenting symptoms included a wide variety of psychiatric manifestations. The serum rapid plasma regain (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination assay (TPPA) of the ten patients were positive, with positive CSF TPPA and RPR rates of 100% and 60%, respectively. In addition, 90% of the patients demonstrated abnormal imaging, including cerebral atrophy, infarct ischemic stroke, and hydrocephalus. Conclusions: Our findings support the importance of serological tests for syphilis as a routine component of the evaluation of patients with clinically evident neurological or psychiatric symptoms. If the serology is positive, all of the patients should be examined with a lumbar puncture. Moreover, psychiatric illnesses secondary to NS in the elderly also deserve medical attention.
    International Psychogeriatrics 06/2013; · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The clinical spectrum of neurosyphilis (NS) has changed over time. Objective: To describe the clinical spectrum and characteristics of NS in HIV-negative patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for 149 in patients with NS. Result: All patients were >25 years old, including 16.8% asymptomatic for NS, 15.4% with syphilitic meningitis, 24.2% with meningovascular NS, 38.9% with general paresis, 4.0% with tabes dorsalis and 0.7% with gummatous NS. The original misdiagnosis rate was 84.6%. All 149 patients had positive serum Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) and rapid plasma reagin (RPR). The overall positive rates of cerebrospinal fluid RPR (CSF-RPR) and CSF-TPPA were 57.0 and 89.9%, respectively. CSF pleocytosis and elevated CSF protein were found in 40.3% of patients. Nonspecific abnormal brain magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography findings were present in 60.4 and 54.8% of NS patients, respectively. Conclusions: NS has various clinical manifestations, laboratory findings and magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography findings, but all studies lack specificity. Every patient with neurological or psychiatric symptoms that are without unambiguous causes should have blood tests for syphilis. When serology proves positive, patients should undergo CSF examination.
    Dermatology 04/2013; · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A retrospective chart review was performed to characterize the clinical presentation, the characteristic combination of serologic and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) abnormalities, and the neuroimaging findings of neurosyphilis (NS) patients who had epileptic seizures alone as an initial presenting symptom. In a 6.75-year period, 169 inpatients with NS were identified at Zhongshan Hospital (from June 2005 to February 2012). We demonstrated that 13 (7.7%) of the 169 NS patients had epileptic seizures alone as an initial presenting feature. Epileptic seizures occurred in NS patients with syphilitic meningitis (2 cases), meningovascular NS (5 cases), and general paresis (6 cases). The types of epileptic seizures included simple partial, complex partial with secondary generalization (including status epilepticus), and generalized seizures (no focal onset reported). Nine of NS patients with only epileptic seizures as primary symptom were misdiagnosed, and the original misdiagnosis was 69.23% (9/13). Ten (10/13, 76.9%) patients had an abnormal magnetic resonance imaging, and 7 (7/13 53.8%) patients had abnormal electroencephalogram recordings. In addition, the sera rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) from all 13 patients were positive. The overall positive rates of the CSF-RPR and CSF-TPPA were 61.5% and 69.2%, respectively. Three patients demonstrated CSF pleocytosis, and 9 patients exhibited elevated CSF protein levels. Therefore, NS with only epileptic seizures at the initial presentation exhibits a lack of specificity. It is recommended that every patient with clinically evident symptoms of epileptic seizures should have a blood test performed for syphilis. When the serology results are positive, all of the patients should undergo a CSF examination to diagnose NS.
    Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 02/2013; · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There have been frequent reports of Neurosyphilis with atypical features. Syphilitic infection of the central nervous system can result in various movement disorders (MD). The few reports of MD patients with neurosyphilis have been mainly of single patient. Between June 2005 and February 2012 we identified, 169 in-patients with neurosyphilis at Zhongshan Hospital. We performed a retrospective chart review to characterize MD findings, clinical signs and symptoms, misdiagnosis rate, laboratory findings, and brain magnetic resonance imaging results. We found that seven of the 169 neurosyphilis patients presenting with MD, had originally been misdiagnosed with Parkinsonism (4), laryngeal dystonia (1), corticobasal syndrome (1), and sensory ataxia (1). None of these patients were initially suspected of having neurosyphilis. The correct diagnosis was syphilitic meningitis (1), meningovascular neurosyphilis (2), general paresis (3), and tabes dorsalis (1). Among them, six patients had abnormal imaging studies, and sera rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and Treponemapallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) from all seven patients were positive. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examinations showed that four patients were CSF-RPR positive (titers ≤1:16) by CSF syphilitic serologic testing, but all seven patients were CSF-TPPA reactive. Moreover, two patients had CSF pleocytosis and four patients had elevated CSF protein expression. Our findings reinforced the importance of routine serologic testing for syphilis should be a part of the evaluation of patients with atypical MD presentations or in whom alternative diagnoses are not forthcoming. When serology is positive, all patients should be examined more thoroughly for neurosyphilis by lumbar puncture.
    Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 02/2013; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some syphilis patients remain in a serologically active state after the recommended therapy. We currently know too little about the characteristics of this serological response. We conducted a cohort study using the clinical database from Zhongshan Hospital, Medical College of Xiamen. In total, 1,327 HIV-negative patients with primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary syphilis were enrolled. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were utilised to identify factors associated with a serological cure and serofast state in syphilis patients one year after therapy. Chi-square tests were used to determine the differences in the serological cure rate across different therapy time points. One year after the recommended therapy, 870 patients achieved a serological cure, and 457 patients (34.4%) remained in the serofast state. The serological cure rate increased only within the first 6 months. The bivariate analysis indicated that male or younger patients had a higher likelihood of a serological cure than female or older patients. Having a baseline titre ≤1∶2 or ≥1∶64 was associated with an increased likelihood of a serological cure. The serological cure rate decreased for the different disease stages in the order of primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary syphilis. A distinction should be drawn between early and late syphilis. The multivariate analysis indicated that a serological cure was significantly associated with the disease phase, gender, age, and baseline rapid plasma reagin (RPR) titre. The serofast state is common in clinical work. After one year of the recommended therapy, quite a few syphilis patients remained RPR positive. The primary endpoint of the study indicated that disease phase, gender, age and baseline RPR titre were crucial factors associated with a serological cure.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e70102. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurosyphilis (NS) caused by Treponema pallidum (T. pallidum) subspecies pallidum, can affect the central nervous system during any stage of the disease. To assess several laboratory parameters for NS diagnosis, we performed a case control study on 42 hospitalized NS patients negative for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 40 syphilis/non-NS patients, excluding NS patients at Xiamen Zhongshan Hospital from June 2010 to June 2011. Multivariate logistic regression model showed that the cerebrospinal fluid white blood cell (CSF-WBC, P = 0.009) levels, the CSF-LDH (P = 0.006) levels, the albumin quotient (P = 0.009) and the IgA index (P = 0.042) were independently associated with high risk of NS. The receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that the optimal cut-offs were 10 × 106 cells/L for the CSF-WBC concentration, 19.3 U/L for the CSF lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentration, 7.08 for the albumin quotient, and 0.14 for the IgA index. Combining the CSF-WBC level, the CSF-LDH level, the albumin quotient and the IgA index increased the NS diagnosis sensitivity to 97.6%. T. pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) index significantly correlated with the CSF-WBC (r = 0.453, P = 0.000), the IgA index (r = 0.446, P = 0.000), the albumin quotient (r = 0.262, P = 0.017), and the CSF-LDH (r = − 0.278, P = 0.012), respectively. In addition, there were correlations between the CSF-WBC and the IgA index (r = 0.329, P = 0.003), and between the CSF-WBC and the albumin quotient (r = 0.306, P = 0.005). Our results indicated that simultaneous testing of CSF-WBC levels, albumin quotient, IgA index and CSF-LDH can help predict the likelihood of NS in HIV-negative patients.
    International immunopharmacology 01/2013; 17(4):1120–1124. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is unclear how Treponema pallidum affects the immune response among various lymphocyte subsets in neurosyphilis patients with different clinical stages. In order to determine the immune response by T. pallidum infection, we detected the peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets among 14 asymptomatic neurosyphilis patients, 19 early neurosyphilis patients, 9 late neurosyphilis patients, and 50 healthy persons. The result indicated that the number of CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes was significantly higher in neurosyphilis patients than in the control group (χ(2) = 4.427, P = 0.035). The number of CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes was significantly higher in the asymptomatic neurosyphilis group than in the early neurosyphilis group, late neurosyphilis group, and control group (F = 4.644, P = 0.005). The number of NK cells was significantly lower in neurosyphilis patients than in the control group (χ(2) = 13.226, P = 0.000). The number of NK cells in neurosyphilis patients with different clinical stages was also lower than in the control group (F = 4.402, P = 0.006). The number of CD3+ lymphocytes, CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes had no difference among the 4 groups. The results indicated that the progression of neurosyphilis may be related to the continued reduction in the number of NK cells and to the continued increase in CD3+CD8+ lymphocytes.
    Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 11/2012; · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurosyphilis is known as "the great imitator" or "the great impostor" because of its wide range of clinical symptoms. A high misdiagnosis rate of ischemic stroke was observed among neurosyphilis patients in clinical practice, which prevents patients from receiving the most appropriate treatment, and often results in more severe neurologic damage. A total of 149 neurosyphilis patients were retrospectively reviewed. The control group comprised 1570 non-neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke patients. The proportion of patients with ischemic stroke as the primary symptom of the different types of neurosyphilis and the misdiagnosis rate of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke were analyzed, including the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Among the 149 neurosyphilis patients, 21 (14.09%) developed ischemic stroke as a primary symptom, including three cases of syphilitic meningitis and 18 cases of meningovascular neurosyphilis. Only four of the neurosyphilis patients had histories of ischemic stroke and recurrence. The other 17 cases were treated for the first time in the emergency department; however, none of the patients were initially suspected of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke. All of the patients were only diagnosed with neurosyphilis during their follow-up treatment. The misdiagnosis rate of neurosyphilitic ischemic stroke was as high as 80.95% (17/21). Furthermore, except for hypertension, no significant differences in cardiovascular risk factors were observed between the groups (P>0.05). In clinical practice, particularly during emergencies, any ischemic stroke patient should be screened for neurosyphilis.
    Journal of the neurological sciences 04/2012; 317(1-2):35-9. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We constructed a vector carrying a shRNA sequence against cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) that was subsequently transfected into the human hepatocarcinoma cell line SMMC‑7721. Furthermore, we established a COX-2-deficient stable cell line and a model of tumor-shRNA transplantation in nude mice. Negative shRNA was used as the control. The tumor volume in the experimental group was smaller compared to that in the control group. Hematoxylin and eosin staining indicated that the cells in the experimental group differentiated better than those in the control group. The COX-2 mRNA level in the tumor tissues injected with SMMC-7721/COX-2i was markedly downregulated compared to that in the tumor tissues injected with SMMC-7721/negative shRNA. The inhibition rate reached 68.6%. Immunohistological study showed a significantly strong COX-2 expression in the control group tumor cells, whereas the experimental group exhibited moderate expression, indicating the inhibition of COX-2 expression after transfection of cells with shRNA against COX-2. Western blot analysis further proved the inhibition of COX-2 expression. In conclusion, RNAi-mediated regulation of COX-2 expression could efficiently inhibit liver-transplanted tumor growth in BALB/c nude mice.
    Oncology Reports 02/2012; 27(6):1829-34. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Syphilis serofast reaction (SSR) is common in clinical work. From June 2005 to May 2009, 1208 syphilis patients were chosen for research by the Xiamen Center of Clinical Laboratory in China. Serologic tests were performed with toluidine red unheated serum test (TRUST) and Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA). Then, T. pallidum-specific IgM antibody (TP-IgM) was detected with fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-Abs) and TPPA. In this study, patients were divided into the following experimental groups according to the results of TRUST and TPPA: (1) the SSR group consisted of 411 cases with (+) TRUST and (+) TPPA, and without clinical manifestations after 1 year of recommended syphilis treatment; (2) the serum cure group, which was further subdivided into group A consisting of 251cases with (-) TRUST and (+) TPPA; (3) group B consisting of 546 cases with (-) TRUST and (-) TPPA; and (4) the blood donor control group which consisted of 100 cases. We demonstrated that a total of 136 cases (33.09%) of 411 SSR patients were TP-IgM positive by TPPA, and this percentage was markedly higher than that in serum cure group A (9.16%). FTA-Abs analyses revealed similar results. All samples in serum cure group B and the control group were TP-IgM negative, which is identical to our previous report. The present study also indicated that the TP-IgM positive rate was not significantly different among patients with different ages, genders, and clinical phases after 1 year of recommended therapy. From the total of 1208 syphilis patients, 289 were randomly selected for TP-DNA detection by fluorescence quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and the positive rate of TP-DNA was 32.53%, which was slightly higher than that of FTA-Abs TP-IgM, and no statistically significant difference by chi-square tests, indicating the TP-DNA result is preferably consistent with FTA-Abs and supporting our deduction that TP-IgM could be used as a serologic marker for the relapse and infection of syphilis.
    Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 09/2011; 71(3):201-7. · 2.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Syphilis remains as a worldwide public health problem; hence, it is necessary to develop a new diagnostic approach that is easier and faster than conventional tests. A new testing method to detect Treponema pallidum IgM (TP-IgM), named colloidal gold immunochromatography assay (GICA), is presented in place of fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-Abs). TP-IgM was detected using GICA developed on syphilis-specific recombinant proteins TPN17 and TPN47. The FTA-Abs IgM test was set as the gold standard. A GICA TP-IgM test was performed to detect syphilis in 1208 patients who received recommended therapy for syphilis for more than 1 year at the Xiamen Center of Clinical Laboratory in China from June 2005 to May 2009. One hundred blood donors were set up as control. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood ratio, and negative likelihood ratio were 98.21%, 99.04%, 93.75%, 99.73%, 102.3, and 0.018, respectively. Detection on 500 interference specimens indicated that the biological false-positive rate of the GICA test was extremely low and was free from other biological and chemical factors. The patients were divided into the following experimental groups based on the results of toluidine red unheated serum test (TRUST) and treponemal pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA): (1) the syphilis serofast reaction (SSR) group consisted of 411 cases with (+) TRUST and (+) TPPA, which exhibited no clinical manifestations of syphilis after 1 year of recommended syphilis treatment; (2) the serum cure group, which was further subdivided into group A, a group that consisted of 251 cases with (-) TRUST and (+) TPPA, and (3) group B, a group that consisted of 546 cases with (-) TRUST and (-) TPPA; and (4) the blood donor control group, which consisted of 100 healthy persons with (-) ELISA-TP and (-) TPPA. We used the FTA-Abs method and the GICA method to detect TP-IgM; the positive rate of TP-IgM in 411 SSR patients was 34.55% and 36.01%, respectively. However, in serum cure group A, the positive rate of TP-IgM was 10.36% and 11.16%, respectively. The χ(2) test revealed that there is a significant difference in the positive rate between these 2 groups (P < 0.01). The TP-IgM positive rate in the same group, as detected by the GICA method and the FTA-Abs method, had no significant difference in statistics. However, as detected by the GICA method and the FTA-Abs method, all the samples in serum cure group B and the control group were negative for TP-IgM. The TP-IgM-positive result demonstrated that active T. pallidum remained in the bodies of SSR patients. In summary, the characteristics of GICA TP-IgM correspond to that of FTA-Abs TP-IgM; this can be used as a serologic marker for the relapse and infection of syphilis in place of the conventional FTA-Abs IgM test.
    Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease 03/2011; 70(1):10-6. · 2.45 Impact Factor