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October 1959

Use of Relaxin in Management of Ulceration and Gangrene Due to Collagen Disease

Author Affiliations

Mobile, Ala.; Detroit

From the Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital (Clarence S. Livingood M.D., Chairman).

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(4):407-409. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560220017003

Relaxin* was discovered by Hishaw,1 in 1926. He noted that injection of the serum of pregnant rabbits into virgin guinea pigs produced relaxation of the pubic symphysis.

The use of relaxin in the treatment of scleroderma was proposed by Casten and Boucek.2 They stressed its advantages in the management of the disabling peripheral vascular symptoms, which are such a distressing feature of the systemic form of the disease.

On the basis of their report we used relaxin in the treatment of two patients who presented with severe Raynaud's phenomenon and who had associated trophic ulceration and gangrene.

Report of Cases

Case 1.—A housewife, aged 57 years, was admitted to the Henry Ford Hospital on July 17, 1957. Her chief complaints were as follows:

  1. Raynaud's phenomenon of three years' duration;

  2. Weakness, becoming progressively worse during the preceding six months and affecting primarily the

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