September 1941


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of Western Reserve University School of Medicine and of the University Hospitals.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;44(3):446-452. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01500030128014

DEFINITION AND HISTORY  Chrysiasis (synonyms for which are auriasis, chrysoderma and hautaurosis) is a permanent pigmentation of the skin caused by the parenteral use of a gold preparation and the subsequent exposure of the skin to ultraviolet radiation, including sunlight.Gold preparations given intravenously began to be used extensively in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1917 (krysolgan), and Möllgaard1 introduced gold sodium thiosulfate (under the name sanocrysin) in 1924. Nine years later Fellner2 listed and described sixteen gold preparations tried in nearly all branches of dermatosyphilology.Early in its use gold was found to cause numerous mild to severe side actions,3 but not until 1928 did Hansborg4 describe the first observed case of chrysiasis, as follows:A 20 year old white woman with auburn hair and light complexion exhibited a slate gray pigmentation on the exposed parts (face, neck and hands). The color of the

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