ICD-10-CM Code A53.9

Syphilis, unspecified

Version 2020 Billable Code

Valid for Submission

A53.9 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of syphilis, unspecified. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. The ICD-10-CM code A53.9 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like acquired syphilis, anetoderma, anetoderma secondary to syphilis, gingival disease caused by treponema pallidum, gingival disease due to bacteria, maternal syphilis during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium, etc

Short Description:Syphilis, unspecified
Long Description:Syphilis, unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code A53.9:

Inclusion Terms

Inclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.
  • Infection due to Treponema pallidum NOS
  • Syphilis (acquired) NOS

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • syphilis NOS under two years of age A50.2

Index to Diseases and Injuries

The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10 code(s). The following references for the code A53.9 are found in the index:


The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

  • Acquired syphilis
  • Anetoderma
  • Anetoderma secondary to syphilis
  • Gingival disease caused by Treponema pallidum
  • Gingival disease due to bacteria
  • Maternal syphilis during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium
  • Syphilis
  • Syphilis in mother complicating childbirth
  • Syphilis test finding
  • Treponema pallidum ELISA positive

Clinical Information

  • LONGITUDINAL STUDIES-. studies in which variables relating to an individual or group of individuals are assessed over a period of time.
  • NEUROSYPHILIS-. infections of the central nervous system caused by treponema pallidum which present with a variety of clinical syndromes. the initial phase of infection usually causes a mild or asymptomatic meningeal reaction. the meningovascular form may present acutely as brain infarction. the infection may also remain subclinical for several years. late syndromes include general paresis; tabes dorsalis; meningeal syphilis; syphilitic optic atrophy; and spinal syphilis. general paresis is characterized by progressive dementia; dysarthria; tremor; myoclonus; seizures; and argyll robertson pupils. adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed pp722 8
  • SYPHILIS-. a contagious venereal disease caused by the spirochete treponema pallidum.
  • SYPHILIS SERODIAGNOSIS-. serologic tests for syphilis.
  • SYPHILIS CARDIOVASCULAR-. cardiovascular manifestations of syphilis an infection of treponema pallidum. in the late stage of syphilis sometimes 20 30 years after the initial infection damages are often seen in the blood vessels including the aorta and the aortic valve. clinical signs include syphilitic aortitis aortic insufficiency or aortic aneurysm.
  • SYPHILIS CONGENITAL-. syphilis acquired in utero and manifested by any of several characteristic tooth hutchinson's teeth or bone malformations and by active mucocutaneous syphilis at birth or shortly thereafter. ocular and neurologic changes may also occur.
  • SYPHILIS CUTANEOUS-. cutaneous lesions arising from infection with treponema pallidum. in the primary stage 18 21 days following infection one or more chancres appear. if untreated the subsequent stages of the disease appear as syphilids. these eruptions are superficial nondestructive exanthematic transient macular roseolas that may later be maculopapular or papular polymorphous or scaly pustular pigmented eruptions.arnold odom and james andrew's diseases of the skin 8th ed p409
  • SYPHILIS LATENT-. the stage of syphilis that occurs following the primary chancre and secondary stages. the patient is asymptomatic at the latent stage but remains seropositive for the spirochete.
  • TABES DORSALIS-. parenchymatous neurosyphilis marked by slowly progressive degeneration of the posterior columns posterior roots and ganglia of the spinal cord. the condition tends to present 15 to 20 years after the initial infection and is characterized by lightening like pains in the lower extremities urinary incontinence; ataxia; severely impaired position and vibratory sense abnormal gait see gait disorders neurologic optic atrophy; argyll robertson pupils hypotonia hyperreflexia and trophic joint degeneration charcot's joint; see arthropathy neurogenic. from adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed p726

Diagnostic Related Groups

The ICD-10 code A53.9 is grouped in the following groups for version MS-DRG V37.0 What are Diagnostic Related Groups?
The Diagnostic Related Groups (DRGs) are a patient classification scheme which provides a means of relating the type of patients a hospital treats. The DRGs divides all possible principal diagnoses into mutually exclusive principal diagnosis areas referred to as Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC).
applicable from 10/01/2020 through 09/30/2020.


Convert A53.9 to ICD-9

Code Classification

  • Certain infectious and parasitic diseases (A00–B99)
    • Infections with a predominantly sexual mode of transmission (A50-A64)
      • Other and unspecified syphilis (A53)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020

Information for Patients


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria. It infects the genital area, lips, mouth, or anus of both men and women. You usually get syphilis from sexual contact with someone who has it. It can also pass from mother to baby during pregnancy.

The early stage of syphilis usually causes a single, small, painless sore. Sometimes it causes swelling in nearby lymph nodes. If you do not treat it, syphilis usually causes a non-itchy skin rash, often on your hands and feet. Many people do not notice symptoms for years. Symptoms can go away and come back.

The sores caused by syphilis make it easier to get or give someone HIV during sex. If you are pregnant, syphilis can cause complications, or you could lose your baby. In rare cases, syphilis causes serious health problems and even death.

Syphilis is easy to cure with antibiotics if you catch it early. Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading syphilis. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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