Glossitis with atrophy of the lingual papillae to ultimate baldness constitutes a conspicuous manifestation of a number of diseases. Recent occasion1 has been taken to review this subject. Among the conditions in which the atrophic tongue has been described are pernicious anemia, achlorhydric anemia, anemia of pregnancy, pellagra, sprue, Plummer-Vinson syndrome, malnutrition attended by dysentery and anemia, intestinal stricture, pyloroplasty complicated by peritonitis, Dibothriocephalus latus infestation and achlorhydria. In the quest of an explanation for this interesting phenomenon such an array of conditions may be confusing; yet it offers certain points of logical attack on the problem of pathogenesis.
For a long period the infectious background of the glossitis of pernicious anemia was accepted on the basis of the work of Hunter2 and of Schneider and Carey.3 Later, Wilkinson and Oliver4 and Oatway and Middleton5 observed a definite relationship between the incidence of achlorhydria and
HUTTER AM, MIDDLETON WS. VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY AND THE ATROPHIC TONGUE. JAMA. 1933;101(17):1305-1308. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740420025007