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November 5, 1949


JAMA. 1949;141(10):726-727. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.02910100092010

The first important advance in the therapy of lupus vulgaris was the introduction by Finsen in 1897 of heliotherapy and of local treatment with concentrated ultraviolet rays. Emery, in 1849, treated patients with lupus vulgaris by administration of enormous doses of cod liver oil (1,000 cc. daily). He reported cure of 74 patients. The method never became popular and soon passed into oblivion. The work of Mellanby (1919), and of MacCollum, Steenbock, Windaus and other biochemists resulted in the isolation from cod liver oil of vitamin D and in the preparation of vitamin D2, in 1931, by exposure of ergosterol to ultraviolet rays, which resulted in the isolation of crystalline, pure calciferol.

Charpy,1 of Dijon, began in 1941 to treat patients with lupus vulgaris with massive doses of calciferol. He administered 15 mg. in a single dose three times weekly for the first week, twice weekly for the

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