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January 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(4):250-256. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720300020005

Almost a century has elapsed since the first reference to tabetic arthropathies was made in the literature by Mitchell,1 whose short article appeared in 1831. Thirty-seven years later, Charcot2 (1868) began to call attention to arthropathies appearing with lesions of the brain of the spinal cord and created a clinical entity which, in honor of his work, now bears his name.

Because of its striking and grotesque features, the disease has aroused considerable interest. A flood of contributions made its appearance, principally from Germany and France. Blencke's3 review in 1904 quotes almost 400 articles on the subject.

The present paper is based on the observation of sixty-four cases of arthropathy involving ninety-nine joints. Of these, only two, or possibly three, were definitely nontabetic. In three cases, a diagnosis of cerebrospinal syphilis was made, and it is possible that in these the arthropathy was an advance symptom of

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