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December 1951

CAT-SCRATCH DISEASE: Nonbacterial Regional Lymphadenitis

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1951;88(6):736-751. doi:10.1001/archinte.1951.03810120037003

INCIDENT to his studies on tularemia in 1932, Dr. Lee Foshay1 in Cincinnati first recognized a disease entity occurring in persons who had been scratched by or had had contact with cats. This illness was characterized by the appearance of an initial cutaneous lesion at the site of a scratch, followed by the development of regional lymphadenitis which frequently proceeded to suppuration. The aspirated pus was sterile, and serologic studies gave negative reaction for tularemia. During the past 20 years Foshay has studied "a score or more" of these patients, but his attempts at elucidating the etiology were unrewarding. He has not reported his work.

In 1945, Dr. F. M. Hanger1 in New York had a paronychia after gardening. There was a cat in the household, but Hanger had no history of scratch. Sterile suppurative regional adenitis associated with fever and constitutional symptoms ensued. An antigen prepared from

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