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July 1949


Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology of the Department of Medicine and the Department of Pharmacology of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the United States Marine Hospital.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1949;60(1):1-13. doi:10.1001/archderm.1949.01530010004001

CONDYLOMATA acuminata undergo rapid involution after the topical application of resin of podophyllum.1 During involution there are profound morphologic changes in the epithelial cells, the most characteristic of which changes is manifested in the enlarged, swollen cell containing finely reticulated, palely basophilic cytoplasm and dispersed chromatin material showing some type of chromosomal arrangement; other changes are seen in various degenerative forms ranging from slight cytoplasmic vacuolation and nuclear alterations to severe degenerative forms manifested by intensely eosinophilic homogeneous cytoplasm and pyknotic nuclei, as well as severely vacuolated cells with absent nuclei.2 These changes are also noted in the normal skins and mucous membranes of men, rabbits and mice after the application of the drug.

Soon after it was shown3 that the cytologic effects of resin of podophyllum on epithelial cells are similar to those produced by colchicine, several investigators reported arrest of mitosis in

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