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September 1951


AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;64(3):320-326. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570090067009

THE PURPOSE of this paper is to present observations suggesting that heparin possesses the ability to induce a remission in pemphigus.

This disease, of unknown etiology, was first described in medical writings of the 17th century. Prior to that time there were no descriptions of disease states which might be interpreted as consistent with it.1 At present four varieties of pemphigus are recognized: pemphigus vulgaris, the common form of the disease; pemphigus foliaceus; pemphigus vegetans, and erythematoid benign pemphigus (Senear-Usher syndrome). The acute pemphigus of butchers is now considered to be a fulminating rapidly fatal bacteremia, while pemphigus neonatorum is considered to be bullous impetigo.

Pemphigus vulgaris is characterized by the development of successive crops of bullae, irregularly bilateral in distribution, usually erupting on normal-appearing skin or mucous membranes. At first the bullae contain clear serous fluid and are not surrounded by an inflammatory areola but later (24 hr.