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February 1978

George Frederic Still and His Account of Childhood Arthritis—A Reappraisal

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY.

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(2):192-194. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120270090019

It is clear from a review of the medical literature of the late 19th century that Still1 was not the first to publish an account of juvenile arthritis. However, the earlier reports of juvenile arthritis did not point out, as Still did, that the disease in children differed from the adult form.

Fornara2 has recently collected these early descriptions. For example, Bouchut in 1873 stated that during a 20-year period he had seen about six cases of rheumatism (which were probably juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) in children. Moncalvo from Rio de Janiero presented a case of childhood arthritis in a monograph that was published both in Portugal and in Brazil in 1870, and subsequently published in French in 1880.2

Cornil3 is often given credit for the earliest description of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), published in 1864. However, his patient, Leoni, was 29 years of age by the

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