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Article
November 1925

THE TUBERCLE BACILLUS AS AN ETIOLOGIC FACTOR IN LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology and the Department of Bacteriology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1925;12(5):691-699. doi:10.1001/archderm.1925.02370110080009
Abstract

The etiology of lupus erythematosus is a fascinating problem for dermatologists, and hardly a year passes in which a contribution on the subject is not made to the literature. In considering the possible causative agent, the most interesting phase of the discussion is the relation of this disease to tuberculosis.

Since 1851, lupus erythematosus has been recognized as a chronic inflammation of the skin with definite clinical features, but its resemblance to lupus vulgaris led these diseases to be considered closely related until 1884, when Koch demonstrated the latter to be a true tuberculosis of the skin. Careful research following this conclusion showed these conditions to be so unlike in numerous respects that most students of the subject regarded them as entirely different processes, and began a more painstaking clinical and microscopic study of lupus erythematosus.

Many diverse etiologic factors have been considered during these years of investigation. Some observers

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