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August 26, 1950


Author Affiliations

Memphis, Tenn.

From the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Teaching Group, Kennedy Hospital.

JAMA. 1950;143(17):1482-1483. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910520001008

Black hairy tongue is a vivid phrase applied to an extraordinary overgrowth of the filiform papillae of the tongue, imparting to that organ a superficial semblance of hairiness. The first known adequate description of this condition is that of Rayer,1 who in 1835 observed it in an adult male. Since then this peculiar condition of the tongue has been studied by numerous writers, and several excellent descriptions of it exist in the literature. One of the largest series of cases reported is that of Swinburne,2 who observed 15 instances of this condition.

Recently we had the opportunity of observing and treating a striking example of this disease. Because the condition is not seen frequently, we deem it worth while to report the following case.

REPORT OF CASE  A white man aged 70 was admitted for the first time to Kennedy Hospital on Oct. 23, 1947. Subsequently, he had

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