The relevance of Vdrl as routine test in pregnant women: a critical study

  • ACC Ikeme
  • TC Okeke


Aim: To critically determine the relevance of Venereal Diseases Research Laboratories (VDRL) investigation as a routine serological screening for syphilis among pregnant women who receive antenatal care at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH).

Methods: A retrospective chart review of result of serological test for syphilis among pregnant women during a five year period (1st January, 1997 to 31st December 2001) was undertaken.

Results: A total of 7469 women booked. 7175 had routine serological test. 294 of the booked women failed to submit themselves for screening. The prevalence rate of syphilis in this study was 0.125%. VDRL seroreactivity had in previous studies in this center declined from 3.06% to 1.30%. It further declined to 0.98% in this study.

Conclusion: The results strongly show a continuing very low prevalence rate of syphilis in Enugu. Nevertheless, we support continued screening of pregnant women inspite of this low prevalence rate, since this will eradicated the effects of undiagnosed and untreated syphilis.

Keywords: Syphils, Venereal Disease Research Laboratories (VDRL), Treponema palladium haemagglutination assay (TPHA)

Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 9(1) 2006: 65-67

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eISSN: 1119-3077