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March 1946

REITER'S DISEASE: Review of the Literature, with Presentation of a Case

Author Affiliations


From the Second Medical Service of Dr. I. Snapper, the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1946;77(3):295-306. doi:10.1001/archinte.1946.00210380060004

THE triad of symptoms consisting of urethritis, conjunctivitis and arthritis, common in gonorrhea, has more recently been observed in patients in whom the etiologic role of the gonococcus could not be established. The first case was described by Reiter1 in Germany in 1916. During the first world war this German physician observed a lieutenant on the eastern front who was suffering from abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. Later purulent urethritis and conjunctivitis appeared, followed shortly thereafter by arthritis of the left knee, right elbow, left wrist and joints of the fingers of the right hand, in that order. Subsequently cystitis, edema of the prepuce, iritis, enlarged spleen and pustular lesions over the left hip were noted. Reiter was unable to influence the disease by any of the therapeutic agents available to him. His major contribution is that he conceived of this syndrome as a new entity not ascribable either to

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