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August 18, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(7):433. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460330037003

The relations of syphilis to the origin of aneurysms have not been definitely determined. The question is most complex. The pathogenesis of arteriosclerosis in general has to be considered, and our understanding of this subject is as yet principally based on theoretic considerations. We would naturally look to anatomic and histologic investigation for proof positive of the etiologic connection between aneurysm and syphilitic aortic lesions. But in the majority of cases arteriosclerosis and arteriosclerotic aneurysms in the syphilitic do not differ macroscopically and microscopically from the same processes in the non-syphilitic. Perhaps certain instances brought forward by Heller, who champions the existence of a pure, syphilitic aortitis that may give rise to aneurysms, constitute an exception to this statement. At the last meeting of the German Pathological Society in Munich, Heller again emphasized the importance of syphilitic aortitis in the etiology of aneurysms.1 His strongest support is a case,