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Case Reports
March 1930


Am J Dis Child. 1930;39(3):586-590. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1930.01930150118013

Abscesses of the thymus gland were first described by Dubois in 1850 as a product of congenital syphilis. However, twenty-one years earlier, Cruveilhier reported cysts in the thymus gland of infants. Chiari believed that the Dubois abscess was a cyst formed by the thymus tissue invading Hassall's corpuscles, the result of pronounced syphilitic changes. While Schlesinger accepted this view, Tuve held the opinion that the Dubois abscess resulted from necrosis of the medulla of the thymus produced by a syphilitic disturbance in the development of the blood vessels supplying this region. Simmonds and Schridde demonstrated Spirochaeta pallida in this lesion. Eberle was not in accord with the opinion of its being a true abscess, but thought that they were dilated epithelial channels, which were remnants of the thymus anlage brought about by a syphilitic vascular disturbance during the development, with subsequent collection of pus in these channels. This explanation was