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November 17, 1993

Textbook of Rheumatology

JAMA. 1993;270(19):2382. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510190146043

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Little progress was made in the understanding of the rheumatic diseases between Sydenham and Musgrave, writing in the 17th century, and the modern epoch in 1948, heralded by rheumatoid factor, the LE cell, and corticosteroids. The 1927 edition of Cecil's classic medical textbook devotes 10 lines to lupus erythematosus and a page and a half to scleroderma, the former under diseases of the mouth, the latter under skin. Boyd's Pathology of 1934 says nothing about either disease. Even the 1940 edition of Comroe's Arthritis devotes but 13 lines to lupus, 13 to scleroderma, and 13 to periarteritis. Epiphenomena were described, connections were not even speculated about (except erroneously to tuberculosis), and underlying mechanisms remained unknown.

O, brave new world! This is the fourth edition of one of the standards of the now recognized specialty of rheumatology to be published in just 12 years. Although a couple of pages shorter than