Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 90 (5), 507-11

Tracing Sydenham's Chorea: Historical Documents From a British Paediatric Hospital

Affiliations

Tracing Sydenham's Chorea: Historical Documents From a British Paediatric Hospital

D Martino et al. Arch Dis Child.

Abstract

Sydenham's chorea (SC) became a well defined nosological entity only during the second half of the nineteenth century. Such progress was promoted by the availability of large clinical series provided by newly founded paediatric hospitals. This paper analyses the demographic and clinical features of patients with chorea admitted to the first British paediatric hospital (the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London) between 1852 and 1936. The seasonal and demographic characteristics of SC during this time appear strikingly similar to those observed today, and witness the introduction of modern "statistically averaging" techniques in the approach to complex paediatric syndromes. Great Ormond Street (GOS) hospital case notes provide detailed descriptions of the "typical cases" of SC, and show that British physicians working in the early age of paediatric hospitals succeeded in recognising the most distinctive clinical features of this fascinating condition.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
William Butler Cheadle (1835–1910). The photograph was kindly provided by the Museum and Archives of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Octavius Sturges (1833–1894). The photograph was kindly provided by the Museum and Archives of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
Figure 3
Figure 3
The Hospital for Sick Children (Great Ormond Street) in 1910. The photograph was kindly provided by the Museum and Archives of the Great Ormond Street Hospital, London.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Yearly number of admissions of patients with chorea (solid line) and rheumatism (broken line).
Figure 5
Figure 5
Monthly distribution of the admissions of chorea and rheumatism, related to the period 1852–95.

Similar articles

  • Sydenham's Chorea: Not Gone and Not Forgotten
    DJ Bonthius et al. Semin Pediatr Neurol 10 (1), 11-9. PMID 12785743. - Review
    Sydenham's chorea is an ancient disease that continues to afflict large numbers of children throughout the world. A major manifestation of rheumatic fever, Sydenham's cho …
  • Sydenham's Chorea--Clinical and Therapeutic Update 320 Years Down the Line
    K Walker et al. S Afr Med J 96 (9 Pt 2), 906-12. PMID 17077917. - Review
  • Gowers' Queen Square Case Notes on Chorea: A 21st Century Re-Appraisal
    TC Vale et al. Eur Neurol 69 (1), 48-52. PMID 23128056.
    Gowers was one of the pioneers in recognizing chorea as a physical sign found in a myriad of etiologies. He also provided a comprehensive description of the clinical feat …
  • The Gordon-Hey Reflex
    GW Bruyn et al. J Hist Neurosci 11 (2), 174-9. PMID 12122808.
    Nowadays, a neurologist, even in many years of practice, rarely sees a patient with Sydenham's chorea. Things were quite different during the period +/- 1850 - +/- 1950, …
  • Did Gustav Mahler Have Sydenham's Chorea?
    F Cardoso et al. Mov Disord 21 (3), 289-92. PMID 16437586.
    Sydenham's chorea (SC), a major manifestation of acute rheumatic fever (RF), is characterized by chorea and other motor and non-motor features. Among the latter are behav …
See all similar articles

Cited by 2 PubMed Central articles

Feedback