Treatment of Thromboangitis Obliterans by Roentgen Therapy

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Good results have followed sympathectomy for thromboangitis obliterans in selected cases. Many reports concerning improvement after roentgen therapy appear in the literature. These reports were reviewed recently by Pfahler,1 who discussed clinical signs and symptoms and various technics that have been employed for irradiation. He stated that his patients and others so treated had been benefited. Those patients in whom irradiation was directed along the spinal column to the sympathetics were improved, whereas those treated locally to the extremities were not.

There may be remissions of a few months or years during the course of the disease, although complete relief of symptoms and disappearance of signs for long periods probably would not take place spontaneously without treatment. The case being reported is of interest because the patient has been free of symptoms for thirteen years following treatment, and it may be justifiable to consider roentgen therapy responsible.

Case Report

A man, aged 37, of Armenian-Jewish ancestry, was first examined by Dr. W. James Gardner at Cleveland Clinic in December, 1932. He complained of pain in his feet which had become progressively worse during the past five years. Three weeks prior to admission the medial surface of the left foot had become purple. He was no longer able to work because his job required that he stand all day. Walking even for ten minutes caused severe aching and numbness of both feet, which at times became swollen and dark red. Exposure to cold and dependent position aggravated the distress, while heat and. . .



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