- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Bekhterev's disease

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A chronic and progressive autoimmune disease characterized by arthritis, inflammation, and eventual immobility of a number of joints. The disease usually involves the spine and surrounding spinal structures. Its principal location is in the spine and sacroiliac joints. In the spine, the small synovial joints and the margins of the intervertebral disks are both involved. These structures become bridged by bone, and the spine is accordingly rigid. Ankylosing spondylitis is a disease of men, but there is disagreement among authors as to the male/female sex ratio, varying from 3:1 to 8:1. Onset usually between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five years. Symptoms of the disease are generally milder among females. This disorder is seen rarely in people of colour. An autosomal dominance has been recorded.


  • Bernard Connor [O’Connor], 1666-1698:
    Lettre écrite à monsieur le Chevalier Guillaume de Waldegrave . . . contenant une dissertation physique sur la continuité de plusieurs os, à l’occasion d’une fabrique surprenante d’une tronc de squelette humain, où les vertebres, les côtes, l’os sacrum, & les os des iles, qui naturellement sont distinct & separés, ne font qu’un seul os continu & inseparable.
    Paris, Jean Cusson, [1693?]
    Partial translation by B. S. and J. L. Blumberg, in J Hist Med, 1958; 13: 349-366.
  • Benjamin Brodie:
    Pathological and Surgical Observations on the Diseases of the Joints.
    London, Longman, 5th editon, 1850.
  • V. M. von Bekhterev:
    Oderevenelast’ pozvonochikas iskrivleniemego, kak osabia forma zabolevaniia.
    Vrach, St. Petersburg, 1892; 13: 899-903. Die Steifigkeit der Wirbelsäule und ihre Verkrümmung als besondere Krankheitsform. Neurologisches Centralblatt, Leipzig, 1893, 12: 426.
  • P. Marie:
    Sur la spondylose rhizomélique.
    Revue de médecine, Paris, 1898, 18: 285-315.
  • B. Connor, P. Marie:
    Les rheumatismes deformant.
    Tribuna médica, Paris, 1895, 27: 27-30.
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1995, 19: 21.
  • A. von Strümpell:
    Lehrbuch der speciellene Pathologie und Therapie der inneren Krankheiten.
    Volume 2, page 152. Leipzig, F. C. W. Vogel, 1884 Bemerkung über die chronische ankylosirende Entzündung der Wirbelsäule und der Hüftgelenke.
    Deutsche Zeitschrift für Nervenheilkunde, 1897, 11: 338-342.
    Translated into English in Bick, Classics of Orthopaedics, 345-347.

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