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June 1961

Generalized Anhidrosis Associated with Multiple Myeloma

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(6):903-909. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580120015003

The presence of generalized anhidrosis always demands explanation. In some patients such anhidrosis reflects a neurologic disturbance, in others a dermatologic problem, and finally, in a significant few, it may be the clue to systemic disease.1 The present report focuses attention on this last group. In the patient to be described, generalized anhidrosis proved to be the herald sign of multiple myeloma.

Report of Cases 

Case 1.—  This 36-year-old white man was first seen by us in August, 1959.* He gave a history of inability to sweat, dating back to 1953. The onset was rather sudden, yet not associated with any illness or unusual event. During the subsequent 6 years there had been no remission in the anhidrosis. Either a warm environment or manual labor regularly led to a burning sensation in the skin, and fever, headaches, vertigo, asthenia, and inability to continue work. Complete collapse had occurred in several