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August 6, 1927


Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine PHILADELPHIA
From the clinic of Dr. Jay F. Schamberg, Polyclinic Hospital, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1927;89(6):424-428. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690060004002

Since its introduction in the treatment of syphilis in 1921 by Sazerac and Leviditi, bismuth has been generally accepted as an antisyphilitic remedy of unquestionable merit. Laboratory experimentation and clinical trial have proved that bismuth is superior to mercury both therapeutically and from the standpoint of toxicity. It is only natural that a drug which has proved to be of such distinct value in acquired syphilis should be employed in congenital syphilis, that refractory offspring of the parent disease. It is strange, however, that the literature contains only scant reference to the value of bismuth in congenital syphilis.

Among the first to report his experience with the use of bismuth in congenital syphilis was Müller,1 who treated six cases in 1922 and found a good symptomatic response without toxic symptoms. In the following year Cajal and Spierer2 reported the treatment of eight cases with a bismuth tartrate preparation,