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November 16, 1984

Diffuse Collagen Disease

Author Affiliations

The Mount Sinai Medical Center New York

JAMA. 1984;252(19):2702. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350190012009

To the Editor.—  The March 23-30, 1984, issue of The Journal carries the reprint of the article on diffuse collagen disease by Klemperer et al1 originally published in JAMA in 1942 as well as a pertinent and pithy commentary by George E. Ehrlich.2It occurred to me that your readers may be interested in a bit of medical history as it pertains to the development of the concept of collagen diseases. Although new scientific insights sometimes appear to be the result of sudden inspiration, more often they are gained by hard work, testing of hypotheses, and following many leads before a valid idea emerges and is confirmed. I was privileged to serve at the Mount Sinai Hospital as a trainee and as a member of the staff during the period when Klemperer, Baehr, Schifrin, and Pollack were struggling to understand the nature of several mysterious disorders, among them