- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Morvan's disease II


Analgesic panaris, analgesic paralysis with whitlow, syringomyelia. Paretic analgesia of the upper extremities.

Related people

A historical term for a peculiar form of syringomyelia.


A chronic disease marked by cavities in the spinal cord, usually in the central region and often extending into the medulla (syringobulbia), or inferiorly into the thoracic and lumbar regions of the cord. The symptom complex includes symmetric, peripheral hyperesthesia of the extremities accompanied by trophic changes in the form of slowly healing ulcers, atrophy of the bones, and changes in the nails. Insidious onset in 2nd to 3rd decade. Frequently associated with other congenital malformations, such as Klippel-Feil syndrome and spina bifida. It usually occurs in young people of either sex. Morvan first described this rare clinical picture in 1883.

"The first case we observed dates back 25 or 30 years. It involved a 60-year old man who came to us with a panaris inflammation on one of his fingers. His hand and entire forearm were swollen. We observed necrosis of the finger at the nail and proposed an incision to the patient for its extirpation. Since the patient only accepted with moderate enthusiasm, we added that the incision would be lightening fast, that he would not have time to suffer. We proceeded with the incision which involved a rather wide cut. How sur prised we were to observe the calm demeanour of this good man who, in our view, was not exactly a hero but nonetheless did not bat an eyelid. He did not complain once. We would have believed him made of wood had he not been flesh and blood before us. He affirmed that he did not feel any pain. This was our first encounter with one of these analgesic panaris inflammations of the upper extremities". (Walusinski)


  • A. M. Morvan:
    De la parésie analgésique à panaris des extrémités supérieures ou paréso-analgésie des extrémités supérieures.
    Gazette hebdomadaire de médecine et de chirurgie, Paris, 2nd series, 1883, 20: 580-583, 590-594, 624-626, 721.
  • Nouveaux cas.
  • Gazette hebdomadaire de médecine et de chirurgie, Paris, 2nd series, 1883, 23 (32): 521-523.
    Gazette hebdomadaire de médecine et de chirurgie, Paris, 2nd series, 1883, 23 (33): 537-540
    Gazette hebdomadaire de médecine et de chirurgie, Paris, 2nd series, 1883, 23 (34): 555.557
Georges Guinon and Adolphe Dutil:
Aspect des doigts dans un cas de maladie de Morvan. Deux cas de maladie de Morvan.
Nouvelle Iconographie de La Salpêtrière, 1890, 3 (1): 1-15.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.