February 1960

Relapsing Focal Liponecrosis (Weber-Christian Syndrome) of the Breast

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif.
From the Department of Surgery, Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles.

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(2):219-223. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290190039008

Adipose tissue, for ages the object of purely esthetic attention, has in recent times come under close physiological and pathological study. Long considered an inactive depot of reserve food energy, it now appears to have a dynamic role in fundamental life processes and is itself subject to specific derangements as yet poorly understood. In 1925 Weber reported "a case of relapsing nonsuppurative nodular panniculitis," which inspired widespread interest among his contemporaries, including Christian, whose subsequent paper added "febrile" to the clinical description since then usually referred to as Weber-Christian syndrome.

Subsequent bibliographic research has demonstrated that both of these authors had in fact been anticipated in 1892 by Pfeifer,17 who in turn postdated Flemming's8 similar report of 1872. With priority thus beclouded, continued usage of the eponym Weber-Christian syndrome is tolerated only because of the unwieldy length of its descriptive alternative i.e., chronic relapsing febrile nodular nonsuppurative panniculitis

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