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August 1948


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1948;82(2):140-158. doi:10.1001/archinte.1948.00220260030003

OSTEOPETROSIS (Albers-Schönberg's disease) is a rare malady of unknown causation. Little more than 150 cases have been reported in the literature since its discovery in 1904 by a German roentgenologist, Albers-Schönberg.1 Many names have been used to describe it, notably marble bones,2 chalky bones,3 osteopetrosis4 and osteosclerosis fragilis generalisata.5 Some authors have erroneously attributed the earliest description of this disease to Heuck,6 who in 1879 described a condition similar to osteopetrosis, now known to be myelofibrosis.7 Both diseases present bone marrow fibrosis, hepatosplenomegaly and generalized lymphadenopathy. However, as one can glean from the name, marble bones, the osseous system in this condition is merely abnormally dense, whereas in myelofibrosis one sees a shotty infiltration of the marrow, which may be sclerotic or lytic in nature.

Osteopetrosis has no predilection for age or sex, being seen about equally distributed between male and female patients;8 the disease has been reported in aged