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August 1939


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;64(2):280-285. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00190020066005

The skeletal disease known as polyostotic fibrous dysplasia has been described in the literature under a variety of designations, including osteodystrophia fibrosa unilateralis, osteitis fibrosa localisata, osteodystrophia fibrosa cystica generalisata, fibrous osteodystrophy and osteitis fibrosa disseminata. Since the osseous changes, which in this condition are usually predominantly or exclusively unilateral, simulate roentgenographically those due to hyperparathyroidism (osteitis fibrosa cystica, Recklinghausen's disease of bone), it is essential to exclude the latter disease so that the patient may not be subjected to unnecessary exploration of the neck and thorax. The term "polyostotic fibrous dysplasia" was applied to this condition by Lichtenstein1 and Jaffe,2 each of whom described a rather characteristic histologic picture of the bone lesion. The present case is reported because it illustrates certain points of importance in differential diagnosis and because we feel that the possible presence of this disorder is frequently overlooked in cases in which the