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A Study of Erythroedema Polyneuritis (Pink Disease): With Special Reference to its Symptomatology and Possible Aetiology

  • T. A. Ratcliffe (a1)

Although Selter (1) appears to have described examples of this disease in 1903, it was not given its present name, nor was it generally recognized, until 1914, when Swift (2) in Australia described fourteen cases of a clinical disease entity and gave it the name of “erythroedema.”

Since then a number of other cases and series of cases have been described and much work has been done in investigating its possible pathology and aetiology.

Byfield (1920) (3), Parkes Weber, Thursfield and Patterson (1922) (4), Findlay and Stern (1929) (5), and Wylie and Stern (1931) (6) have contributed papers in the English language.

In 1923 Patterson and Greenfield (10) published a review of the disease and discussed in particular the pathology and causation of its polyneuritic aspect.

A description of the disease is to be found in most works on paediatrics, in particular those of Findlay (7) and Hutchinson (8), whilst Still (9) gives a series of 17 cases observed by him. A further description is given by Brain (12), whilst Rocaz (11) has published a monograph summarizing our knowledge of the disease. Reference to this and further literature will be made later in this paper as various points are discussed.

In the present investigation 15 cases of pink disease are considered. Of these 7 were obtained from the records of cases admitted to the Sheffield Children's Hospital in the two years 1931 and 1932. One was personally seen by the writer at St. Thomas's Hospital, London, in 1933, and 7 more have been personally investigated in the Sheffield Children's Hospital between October, 1933, and March 1, 1935. In addition many of the old cases have been seen and followed up in the Out-Patient Department by the writer. Some other investigations which bear upon the subject are also described.

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(1) Selter, (1903), Arch. f. Kinderh., 37, 468.
(2) Swift, (1914), Australian Medical Congress.
(3) Byfield, (1920), Amer. Journ. Dis. Child., 20, 347 (Nov.).
(4) (a) Parkes Weber, F. (1922), Brit. Journ. Child. Dis., 19, 17; (b) Thursfield and Patterson (1922), ibid., 19, 27.
(5) Findlay, and Stern, (1929), Arch. Dis. Child., 4, 1.
(6) Wyllie, and Stern, (1931), ibid., 6, 137.
(7) Findlay, (1933), The Clinical Study and Treatment of Sick Children (Findlay and Thomson).
(8) Hutchinson, , Lectures on Diseases of Children.
(9) Still, , Common Disorders and Diseases of Childhood.
(10) Patterson, and Greenfield, (1923), Quart. Journ. Med., No. 65, 6 (Oct.).
(11) Kocaz, , The Pink Disease.
(12) Brain, Russell (1933), Diseases of the Nervous System.
(13) Haushalter, (1925), Rev. Neurol., 32, 401.
(14) Pradzynska-Sewarczynska, (1926), Arch. de Méd. d'Enf.
(15) Parsons, and Barling, , Diseases of infancy and Childhood.
(16) Jung, , Psychological Types.
(17) Boas, (1927), Biochem. Journ., Cambridge.
(18) Braithwaite, (1933), Arch. Dis. Child., 8, 1.
(19) Nicole, , Psychopathology.
(20) Cameron, , The Nervous Child.
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  • EISSN: 2514-9946
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A Study of Erythroedema Polyneuritis (Pink Disease): With Special Reference to its Symptomatology and Possible Aetiology

  • T. A. Ratcliffe (a1)
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