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Article
March 1949

EPIDEMIC PLEURODYNIA: CLINICAL AND ETIOLOGIC STUDIES BASED ON ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN CASES

Author Affiliations

BOSTON; ANN ARBOR, MICH.

From the First and Third (Tufts) Medical Services, the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, and the Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical Services, Boston City Hospital; the Research Division of Infectious Diseases, the Children's Medical Center; the department of medicine, Tufts College Medical School, and the department of pediatrics and medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;83(3):305-321. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00220320059005
Abstract

DURING the late summer and early fall of 1947, an epidemic acute febrile illness characterized by headache, pyrexia and paroxysmal pain in the region of the diaphragm occurred in Massachusetts. Clinically it closely resembled a malady first described in Iceland by Finsen1 in 1856, who called it "pleurodynia." The same syndrome has since been variously designated as "Bornholm disease," "epidemic muscular rheumatism," "acute benign dry pleurisy," "epidemic pleuritic pain," "Bamle disease" and "devil's grip." The last name was based on the description of the pain in the chest experienced by one of Dabney's2 patients in the first outbreak reported from the United States. The literature on the disease was reviewed by Sylvest3 in 1934 and has been brought up to date by Scadding.4

The etiology remains obscure. Small5 found inclusion bodies in the erythrocytes in 2 cases, which induced him and Torrey6 to believe that the disease was caused by a

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