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September 1941


Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;34(3):453-460. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660040493002

To von Rustizky (1873) goes the credit for proposing the name "multiple myeloma" for the clinical entity originally described by William McIntyre in 18501 as "mollitis ossium." An intimation that the disease existed centuries ago is brought out by Ritchie and Warren,2 who discovered the skeleton of an American Indian dating from the latter part of the ninth century which showed widespread destructive lesions of the bones very suggestive of this disease.

Multiple myeloma is relatively rare. Prior to 1937, 643 cases were recorded in the literature.3 Reports of this disease appeared with the same degree of frequency in all parts of the world. At Johns Hopkins Hospital4 this pathologic condition was observed in 4 of 9,000 autopsies, and life insurance tables give its incidence as 0.03 per cent of all malignant growths.5

Multiple myeloma is a disease of later life, a large percentage (80) of the patients being from

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