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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 May;16(5 Pt 1):1071-4.

Sir William Osler and the anatomical tubercle.


Tuberculosis of the skin resulting from direct inoculation of a tuberculin-sensitive individual (tuberculosis verrucosa cutis) is a rare disease first described by Laennec. Various terms, including prosector's wart and the anatomical tubercle, have been used to describe these lesions, which were often acquired in the autopsy room. The disease usually remains local in those patients with acquired immunity from previous infection with tuberculosis. Sir William Osler possessed an abiding interest in pathology throughout his career and performed nearly 1,000 postmortem examinations. He describes the acquisition of numerous prosector's warts and their evolution and treatment. It is postulated that Osler was a tuberculin-sensitive individual at the time he acquired his anatomical tubercles. His contributions to dermatology are discussed.

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