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August 1971

Retroperitoneal Fibrosis: Response to Corticosteroid Therapy

Author Affiliations

Zurich, Switzerland

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;128(2):295-298. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310200131017

Retroperitoneal fibrosis was first described by Albarran1 in 1905 and defined as a disease entity by Ormond2 in 1948. Despite the fact that many cases have since been observed and reviewed,3-7 the etiology, pathogenesis, and natural history of this disorder remain obscure and therapy is still the subject of discussion.

We report on two patients with retroperitoneal fibrosis presenting as outstanding features prompt regression of symptoms after treatment with corticosteroids. In one patient this effect was observed repeatedly during a relapsing course of the disease during a period of 11 years with involvement of both ureters and an iliac vein.

Patient Summaries 

Patient 1.  —An office employee had a first episode of right flank pain in December 1958 at the age of 52 years. Past history disclosed rheumatic fever at the age of 28 years, with resulting stenosis of the aortic valve. Thyroidectomy was performed because of toxic

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