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May 1929


Author Affiliations

Meriden, Conn.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;19(5):807. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.02380230097009

In the March issue of the Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology, Dr. William Allen Pusey called attention to ischemia of one finger and stated that he had not seen a similar case nor found one in the literature. I believe that these cases are not extremely rare, as I have seen five in a period of ten years, and I think that there are many more patients who never seek the advice of a physician.

I have always classified this condition as an angiospasm of undetermined etiology. Osler mentioned it in association with chronic interstitial nephritis and Raynaud's disease. Butler, in his diagnosis, called it the dead finger (digiti mortui) and gave as a cause exposure to cold. In Tice's System of Medicine, it is described under Raynaud's disease.

This, in my opinion, is where it properly belongs. While Raynaud's disease is called symmetrical gangrene, the early and mild type

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