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January 1929


Am J Dis Child. 1929;37(1):88-97. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930010095005

In 1914, Swift of Australia reported several cases with a symptomcomplex supposedly different from any ever reported. From the unusual character of this clinical entity, he ventured to name the condition erythredema, because of one of the most cardinal symptoms, a dull bluish-red swelling of the hands and feet. Since this time, two hundred or more cases have been reported by English, Canadian and American physicians.

The disease affects infants and young children mainly between the ages of 12 months and 4 years, and is characterized by extreme fretfulness, marked neuromuscular disturbances, sleeplessness and a dull red or pink rash of varying character sometimes over the entire body, but involving mainly the hands and feet. The first American to report such cases was Bilderback1 in 1920.

Clubb of Australia has called it the "pink disease." Paterson and Greenfield of England2 have termed the ailment "erythroedema polyneuritis." Canadian observers,