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December 1953

HAMMAN-RICH SYNDROME: Analysis of Current Concepts and Report of Three Precipitous Deaths Following Cortisone and Corticotropin (ACTH) Withdrawal

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service, Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1953;92(6):806-824. doi:10.1001/archinte.1953.00240240042003

DIFFUSE interstitial pulmonary fibrosis of the type originally described by Hamman and Rich1 remains a most perplexing process, which, despite its striking histological appearance, may well represent a reaction peculiar not to one but to several inciting factors. Obscure in etiology and supposedly rare in occurrence, this syndrome is nevertheless so conspicuous by the extent of pulmonary involvement, so vicious in its relentless, usually unresponsive course, and so often fatal in its outcome that it is not surprising to note the current display of interest in the subject, as a growing number of case reports and a recent editorial in The Journal of the American Medical Association attest.2

Contrary to an erroneous concept being perpetuated in the literature, the original paper by Hamman and Rich appeared not in 1944 but in 1935.1 Fully nine years elapsed before they published what has come to be regarded as the

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