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Pfeifer-Weber-Christian disease

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A skin disease characterized by relapsing fever and panniculitis, and development of crops of painful subcutaneous fatty nodules, resulting in atrophy of the subcutaneous fatty layer of the skin. The nodules vary in diameter from 1 to 12 cm.

The trunk and extremities, particularly the thighs and legs, are most frequently affected. Hands, face, and feet usually spared. Occurs in every age group and either sex, but usually affects women between the second and fourth decades of life. Etiology unknown.

Pfeiffer in 1892 first described multiple areas of atrophy in subcutaneous fatty tissue; Weber in 1925 called it "relapsing, non-suppurative panniculitis." Christian in 1928 pointed out its febrile character.


  • V. Pfeifer:
    Über einen Fall von herdweiser Atrophie des subkutanen Fettgewebes.
    Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1892, 50: 438-449.
  • F. P. Weber:
    A case of relapsing non-suppurative nodular panniculitis, showing phagocytosis of subcutaneous fat-cells by macrophages.
    British Journal of Dermatology and Syphilis, Oxford, 1925, 37: 301-311.
  • H. A. Christian:
    Relapsing febrile nodular nonsuppurative panniculitis.
    Archives of Internal Medicine, Chicago, 1928, 42: 338-351.

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