Elephantiasis is a chronic disease of the cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues. It is characterized by inflammation and obstruction of the lymphatic vessels and subsequent hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the fibrous connective tissue. The lymph stasis and the resulting pachydermia produce persistent enlargement and gross deformity of the affected part of the body. The regions of predilection are the lower extremities and the external genitalia; the upper extremities, lips, ears and eyelids are less frequently affected. Elephantiasis may be congenital or acquired, but in this communication only certain acquired types will be considered.
Elephantiasis may be caused by many different factors. The etiologic importance of Filaria sanguinis hominis in endemic elephantiasis is well known. Removal of large amounts of lymph gland-bearing tissue in the surgical treatment of malignant tumor or of certain infections of the lymph nodes may be followed by chronic lymphedema and subsequent elephantiasis. Neoplastic processes of the lymph
NETHERTON EW, CURTIS GH. ELEPHANTIASIS OF THE LIPS AND OF THE MALE GENITALIA: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SYPHILIS AND LYMPHOGRANULOMA VENEREUM AS ETIOLOGIC FACTORS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;41(1):11–31. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490070014002
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: