August 1966

The Masquerade of Weber-Christian Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Surg. 1966;93(2):327-330. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330020119020

RELAPSING, febrile, nodular, nonsuppurative panniculitis is the long descriptive name for the illness better known as Weber-Christian disease. The first report of this disease was published by Pfeifer (1892).1 Twenty-four years later Gilchrist and Ketron2 (1916) reported the second. The name "relapsing, nonsuppurative, nodular, panniculitis" was given to the disease by Weber (1925).3 Christian4 (1928) added the adjective "febrile" to this descriptive phrase.

Many reports now supplement these early ones. In 1949 Bendel5 described a personal case and wrote the most comprehensive review of the 43 cases then published. Articles by Blumen feld,6 and Hauge and Christiansen7 suggest that there were approximately 55 cases recorded by 1954. Additional case reports have appeared subsequently.

Between 1951 and 1965, nine patients were admitted to Barnes Hospital with symptoms caused by this disease. Diagnosis in these patients was confirmed by biopsy. These cases are summarized below

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