Illustrating the dictum that much research consists of the rediscovery of forgotten knowledge, the recent letter by Lehman1 on the misspelling of pruritus as pruritis confirms an earlier study. The approximately 5% prevalence of “pruritis” documented for the period 2003 to 20081 is very close to the approximately 6% rate reported in the 1983-1988 period.2 Both figures represent a marked increase from the approximately 1% rate found in the 1966-1971 period.2 Fortunately, the occurrence of this grotesquerie in the formal medical literature seems to have settled down to a steady state; otherwise, like an invasive species, it might have quite overrun the correct form by now.
Shea CR. “Pruritis” Redux. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(8):918-935. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.166