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July 1957

A Plethysmographic Study of the Toe of a Patient with Ainhum

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

From the Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine and Charity Hospital of Louisiana.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(1):113-125. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260070127015

Although many papers have been published on ainhum, none has been found that included plethysmographic studies of an involved toe. The present report concerns a patient at the Charity Hospital with advanced ainhum of the left fifth toe. The plethysmogram of this patient was compatible with a relatively high rate of blood flow despite pronounced pedunculation proximally, a feature confirmed by detailed histologic study following surgical removal.

The Disease  Ainhum, a term derived from an African word meaning "to saw," was first described by Clarke,1 in 1860, before the Epidemiological Association of London. DaSilva Lima 2 recognized this disease in the Western Hemisphere in 1867. Since then, over 200 cases have been reported up to 1944, about 45 of which were from the United States.3 There have been many isolated reports, a number from Louisiana described in 18884 and 1889,5 as well as from other parts

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