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November 2016

The Legacy of Maurice Raynaud

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(11):1253. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.0010

Born in 1834 as the son of a university professor, Maurice Raynaud trained at the University of Paris and became a French physician in 1862.1 Although he was affiliated with various hospitals and clinics, for political reasons Raynaud was never able to secure a senior faculty position at any hospitals in Paris. Nevertheless, he achieved scientific and medical fame as a medical student with his doctoral thesis titled, “Local Asphyxia and Symmetrical Gangrene of the Extremities.” Raynaud’s thesis described 25 patients, 20 of whom were female, who had a series of color changes in their hands and feet when exposed to the cold or when the patients were under stress.2 This is known today as Raynaud phenomenon, and it is associated with a wide variety of medical conditions spanning across multiple medical disciplines.3

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