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Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome

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Syndrome characterised by a triad of symptoms comprising recurrent facial paralysis, chronic edema of the face and lips, and and hypertrophy and fissuring of the tongue (lingua plicata). The edema usually recurs in in the spring and fall, resulting in permanent enlargement of the lips. No sex or racial preference; onset in childhood or youth. Autosomal dominant inheritance with variable expressivity.

Early descriptions of this conditon were made by Rossolimo in 1901 and Paul Hübschmann (1878-) in 1894 and Lothar von Frankl-Hochwart (1862-1914) in 1891. It was described by Melkersson in 1928; Rosenthal in 1931 emphasised that lingua plicata is a common related condition.

Miescher’s cheilitis is a monosymptomatic form of the Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome. See under Guido Miescher, Italian-born Swiss dermatologist, 1877-1961.


  • G. J. Rossolimo:
    Recidivirende Facialislähmung bei Migräne.
    Neurologisches Zentralblatt, 1901, 20: 744-749.
  • E. Melkersson:
    Ett fall av recidiverande facialispares i samband med ett angioneurotiskt ødem. Hygiea, Stockholm, 1928, 90: 737-41.
  • C. Rosenthal:
    Klinisch-erbbiologischer Beitrag zur Konstitutionspathologie. Gemeinsames Auftreten von (rezidivierender familiärer) Facialislähmung, angioneurotischem Gesichtsödem und Lingua plicata in Arthritismus-Familien.
    Zeitschrift für die gesamte Neurologie und Psychiatrie, 1931, 131: 475-501.
  • G. Miescher:
    Über essentielle granulomatöse Macrocheilie (Cheilitis granulomatosa).
    Dermatologica, Basel, 1945, 91: 57-85. Cheilitis und pareitis granulomatosa ohne Facialisparese bei vorhandensein einer Lingua scrotalis. Dermatologica, Basel, 1956, 112: 536.
  • H. H. Schuermann:
    Krankheiten der Mundschleimhaut und der Lippen.
    2nd edition, Urbach & Schwarzenberg, Berlin, 1958.

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