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July 1964

Syndrome Shift

Author Affiliations


From the Second Medical Service, Wilhelmina Gsthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the Department of Medicine A, Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital and Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(1):113-117. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860070159021

Introduction  According to classical concepts a disease can end either in cure or death, or it may become chronic. In this communication we want to draw attention to a fourth possibility, viz, that a disease or syndrome may be replaced by another one. It has been proposed1 to designate this phenomenon syndrome shift. A typical example is the appearance of bronchial asthma in babies or young children at the time of disappearance of infantile seborrheic eczema. In adults the alternation of asthmatic attacks and the occurrence of neurodermatitis ("constitutional eczema") can also be observed. More examples were given in a previous paper,1 and Van der Valk has described other cases since then.2 Naturally the designation "syndrome shift" applies only when the second disease occurs in immediate sequence to the disappearance of the first.Syndrome shift should be distinguished from a related phenomenon, viz, the disappearance, usually temporarily,

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