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February 1941


Author Affiliations


From the medical and dermatologic clinics of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Fatigue Laboratory, Harvard University.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;43(2):341-356. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01490200123011

The use of dihydrotachysterol in the treatment of pemphigus was suggested as the result of three observations: (a) the beneficial effects occasionally observed in pemphigus from the administration of large amounts of viosterol, (b) the improvement induced by the administration of dihydrotachysterol in impetigo herpetiformis and (c) the serum calcium-raising property of dihydrotachysterol.

Ludy and DeValin1 in 1932 reported symptomatic improvement in 6 patients treated with large quantities of viosterol and with ultraviolet radiation. This observation has been confirmed by Tauber and Clarke,2 by King and Hamilton3 and by us (unpublished data). Although the precise mode of action in pemphigus of massive doses of viosterol (100,000 to 500,000 U. S. P. units of vitamin D per day) is not known, it seems unlikely that it is the correction of an avitaminosis D, as Ludy and Drant4 assumed. If this explanation were valid, small amounts of viosterol

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