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Jonathan Hutchinson The Greatest Syphilographer of All Time

Ismaël Maatouk, MD1; Roy Moutran, MD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Private practice (dermatologist, venereologist), Beirut, Lebanon
2Department of Dermatology, Mount Lebanon Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(3):277. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.4107.
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Jonathan Hutchinson is recognized as the foremost British syphilologist of the 19th century. His interest in syphilis began early in his career, in 1849, when he described 2 cases of keratitis associated with congenital syphilis (CS).1 He realized later that very little had been written about CS.1

He had noted a peculiar development of the permanent teeth, particularly the upper incisors, in patients with CS.1 Hutchinson’s observation had been greeted with expressions of incredulity, so he decided to publish details of 13 cases followed later by details of 70 cases.1 At the same time, he published the results of his studies of the association between CS and interstitial keratitis. The old term strumous corneitis, which implied a connection with tuberculosis, was abandoned as meaningless in this context. Hutchinson's conclusion was a new idea, and for many years it was not accepted.1

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