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February 14, 1925


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Oregon Medical School.

JAMA. 1925;84(7):495-498. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660330015007

It is questionable whether the disease that American writers are calling acrodynia is the same as the one which occurred in epidemic form in France in the year 1827, and within two years had attacked between forty and fifty thousand people. The term acrodynia (derived from two Greek words, meaning extremity and pain) was first given by Chardon in 1830 to this epidemic disease.

Acrodynia, or epidemic erythema, is a disease largely affecting adults and is characterized by an erythematous dermatitis especially affecting the palms and soles and followed by pigmentation. It is also followed by vomiting and diarrhea and frequently by cramps and spasms of the muscles, sometimes by paralysis of the legs and general anasarca. It generally runs a course of from two to four weeks, and recurrent attacks are not uncommon.

Recently, Petren,1 in Sweden, pointed out the great probability of the famous acrodynia epidemic having

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