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The Clinical and Histopathological Description of Geometric Phagedenism (Pyoderma Gangrenosum) by Louis Brocq One Century Ago

David Farhi, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(6):755. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.6.755.
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Pyoderma gangrenosum is an idiopathic, rapidly evolving, severely debilitating neutrophilic dermatosis, typically characterized by an inflammatory ulcer with a purulent infiltrated border.1 About two-thirds of pyoderma gangrenosum are associated with systemic diseases, mostly inflammatory bowel diseases (either ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease), but also with monoclonal gammapathies and myeloproliferative disorders.

Brunsting, et al,2 (from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), first coined the term pyoderma (echthyma) gangrenosum in 1930. In their seminal article, 4 of 5 patients presented with ulcerative colitis and one had idiopathic chronic purulent pleurisy.2 At that time, the term pyoderma was used by dermatologists to refer to “purulent skin diseases due to infectious agents.”1(p459) Brunsting et al first introduced the term gangrenosum to address the necrotic and rapidly extensive features of this dermatosis.2

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Louis Brocq, MD (1856-1928), cofounder of the French Society of Dermatology and Syphiligraphy in 1899, was the head of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology at Saint Louis University Hospital (Paris, France) from 1906 to 1921 and was one of the co-authors of the first French dermatological encyclopedia in 1900 (The Dermatological Practice).1

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