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November 1940


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1940;42(5):874-877. doi:10.1001/archderm.1940.01490170124011

Transverse furrows in the nails vary in width and in depth from 1 to several millimeters. They are found traversing a nail from border to border, always parallel to the matrix, in contrast to normal cornified epithelial ridges, which pursue a course parallel to the dorsal surface of the phalanx. We have observed the appearance of these furrows in connection with normal skin on the phalanx and an otherwise intact nail. They occur in the course of metabolic disturbances of the whole organism; they are interesting signs that the organism is a unit. They are valuable as a practical aid in diagnosis. Parisot1 stated: "The nail and the epidermis are mirrors that truly reflect the metabolic disturbances of fever and the constitutional illnesses of an organism." Reil2 in 1792 first noted the occurrence of these lines in the course of fevers and observed that they run parallel to