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January 24, 1994

A Unifying Physical Diagnosis for Adolph Hitler

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles, Calif

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(2):227-228. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420020151023

I found Redlich's diagnostic evaluation of Adolph Hitler thought provoking, but I do not, given the data provided, agree with his conclusion.1

In Redlich's article, the symptoms and signs ascribed to giant cell arteritis—temporal arteritis (GCA/ TA) lasted from the summer of 1941 to the winter of 1944—a duration of over 3 years. The organs involved, if we are to assume that the symptoms and signs were all caused by an arteritis, included the eyes (decreased vision), the liver (hepatitis), the bowel (abdominal pains), and the heart (progressive coronary disease); in addition, Hitler had various intermittent systemic symptoms (eg, periodic weight loss, malaise, and low-grade fever). Hitler did not, according to the history, complain of stiffness, achiness, or pain in the shoulder or pelvic girdle muscles (polymyalgia rheumatica). So, to accept the diagnosis of GCA/TA, we need to accept the prolonged nature of the disease, its very intermittent and

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