The etiology of thromboangiitis obliterans has been obscure ever since the first differentiation by Buerger between this condition and other forms of peripheral vascular disease. Impressed by the inflammatory type of lesions seen in the blood vessels, Buerger1 regarded the disease as an infection, but all the clinical evidence indicates that this conception is incorrect. Goodman2 agrees that thromboangiitis obliterans is an infectious disease and holds that an attenuated virus of typhus is responsible for it.3 Kaunitz4 suggests that chronic ergot poisoning from eating infected rye foods causes the disease, and recently Thompson5 has claimed that fungous infection (dermatophytosis) is the causative agent. The occurrence of the disease in smokers has been commented on by several writers. Erb6 in 1904 stated that smoking was an important contributing cause of this condition. Lilienthal7 noted this relationship in 1914, and Willy.Meyer8 in 1920 expressed
SILBERT S. ETIOLOGY OF THROMBOANGIITIS OBLITERANS. JAMA. 1945;129(1):5–9. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860350007002
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