EPONYMS IN DERMATOLOGY LITERATURE LINKED TO NORWAY
Khalid Al Aboud1, Daifullah Al Aboud2
Corresponding author: Dr. Khalid Al Aboud e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eponyms in dermatology
literature linked to Norway
This eponym (also, called Boeck's sarcoid and sarcoidosis Boeck), is now largely replaced by the term ''sarcoidosis''.In 1899, Cæsar Peter Møller Boeck (1845- 1917), (Fig. 1), Professor of Dermatology in Kristiania (now Oslo), published his pioneer article called ''Multiple benign sarkoid of skin''.
Boeck coined the name sarcoidosis which stems from the Greek words “sark“ (meaning flesh) and “oid“(meaning like). His uncle was Karl Wilhelm Boeck (1808-1875), known for his work on syphilis .
Together with Boeck, the English physician, Jonathan Hutchinson (1828-1913), and the French physicians, Ernest Besnier (1831-1909), and, Henri Tenneson (1836-1913) were all pioneers in sarcoidosis work, even though the connections between them were made clear many years later .
Boeck coined an instantly acceptable term, sarkoid, and perhaps most important, he accurately and lucidly depicted the classic histologic features of this characteristic granuloma. 'So, history justifies the term Boeck's sarcoidosis'' [4,5]. Boeck's compatriot, Ansgar Kveim (1892-1966), presented, in 1941, the Kveim reaction for diagnostic use. The swede, Jörgen Schaumann (1879-1953), demonstrated early the generalized character of the disease. His compatriot, Sven Löfgren (1901-1978), described the combination of erythema nodosum, polyarthritis, fever, and bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, called Lofgren's syndrome, the most usual form of acute sarcoidosis .
Figure 1. Cæsar Peter Møller Boeck (1845- 1917). Courtesy, National Library of Medicine
This term is used as a synonym for leprosy.Descending from a Danish family, Gerhard
Henrik Armauer Hansen (1845- 1917), (Fig. 2), Graduated in medicine in 1866 from the University at Christiana (the former name of Oslo). He began his work on a disease known as leprosy at the age of 26 and as an assistant of Daniel Cornelius Danielssen (1815-1894), at the Lungegaarden Hospital . While Danielssen leaned toward heredity as a dominant factor in leprosy, Hansen's conviction was that the disease must have an infectious causal agent . In about 1871, Hansen began to observe tiny little rods in tissue specimens and considered they could be the etiologic agent of leprosy, the more he found these rods in all the infiltrated nodular lesions in his patients. Finally, he proposed on February 28, 1873, that the rods were bacilli, responsible of leprosy .
He edited the journal <<Lepra>>. Hansen was also an eminent zoologist engaged in studies involving mollusks and worms; since 1874, he was president of the Bergen Museum of Natural History. Armauer Hansen died on February 12, 1912, and the funeral ceremonies took place in the Museum of Bergen where his ashes are still kept .
Figure 2. Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen (1841-1912). Courtesy, National Library of Medicine
Refsum disease is an autosomal recessive inborn error of lipid metabolism classically characterized by a tetrad of clinical abnormalities: retinitis pigmentosa, peripheral neuropathy, cerebellar ataxia, and elevated protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) without an increase in the number of cells. The disease presented in the skin as ichthyotic changes [7-10].
Sigvald Bernhard Refsum (1907-1991), (Fig. 3), was an outstanding Norwegian neurologist, highly respected and recognized both nationally and internationally. He first described this disorder and noted the hereditary aspect. In his monograph from 1946 he named the disease "heredopathia atactica polyneuritiformis"; however, it was rapidly known as Refsum's disease. Twenty years later, two German scientists, Klenk and Kahlke, detected large amounts of a peculiar branched-chain fatty acid, phytanic acid, in a Refsum patient. This started an amazing revelation of the biochemical background of the disease, and also led to a logical and effective treatment. Although Refsum's disease is extremely rare, it has become well-known due to this elucidation of both the normal metabolism of phytanic acid and the pathophysiology of the disease [7-10].
Figure 3. Sigvald Bernhard Refsum (1907-1991). This figure is reproduced with permission from the great Norwegian encyclopedia (Store norske leksikon), Available Online at; http://snl.no/Sigvald_Bernhard_Refsum