Since the introduction of gold as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of lupus erythematosus, dermatologists have had exceptionally good opportunities to observe the effects of this metal on the human body. Numerous cases of toxic effects have been reported, and in most of these the reactions have paralleled the toxic effects of other heavy metals, namely, bismuth, arsenic and mercury. Recently, gold salts have been extensively used in the treatment of arthritis, and several reports of toxic effects in some of the patients have appeared.
Furthermore, it has become increasingly evident that gold, like the other heavy metals, arsenic, bismuth and mercury, not only may produce cutaneous eruptions and visceral symptoms but also may cause blood dyscrasias. Malignant leukopenia, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia and various types of purpura have been reported.
In a discussion of lupus erythematosus disseminatus at the meeting of the American Dermatological Association in Toronto, Canada,
WEISS RS, LANE CW, BAGBY JW. LXXVIII.—EFFECT ON THE LEUKOCYTES OF THERAPY WITH A GOLD PREPARATION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;35(6):1074–1086. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01470240066005
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