Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. Victor Almon McKusick Collection
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From "Musical Murmurs" to Medical Genetics, 1945-1960
June 23, 1947
Dear Dr. McKusick:
I have your letter of June 20 and was interested to learn that you had a case of the syndrome of pigmentation of the lips,
buccal and palatal mucosa and hands in association with intestinal polyposis.
I discussed this syndrome in a review I wrote on "Pigmentation of the Skin" in the New England Journal of Medicine,
Volume 231, pages 88-100 July 20, pages 122-136 July 27, and pages 181-189 August 3, 1944. There is at least one report of
this syndrome in addition to the papers by Hutchinson and Weber. However, I did not search the literature very carefully.
The pressure of work in transferring from Boston to Washington has prevented me from writing up my material in detail. I am
planning to spend a month at Boston City Hospital this summer to finish up this and several other papers I left behind.
The two cases that I had at Boston City Hospital both came to autopsy and we have very good colored pictures of them. In addition
I have data and pictures of a third case sent to me by a physician who learned of my interest in this syndrome. Also, there
is a family in Boston who was studied at the Boston City Hospital in which several members have this syndrome. They were operated
on but did not come to postmortem examination.
Since considerable work has been done on this paper already I would not care to turn the data over to anyone else. If it is
agreeable with your chief at Hopkins would you care to join me as co-author in this paper and combine your case with the material
I have? I expect to be in Boston from July 15 to August 15. Since there is no detailed literature to review, the main work
would be to assemble the case histories and write discussions of them and probable explanation of the pigmentation. If you
are remaining at Hopkins the distance between us is not great and we can probably readily get together. My paper will be listed
as a contribution from the Boston University Medical Service at Boston City Hospital and if you were co-author it would listed
as from both Boston City Hospital and your institution.
I am quite sure that this syndrome is one of those curious combinations which will be fairly frequently if one would look
for it. It might prove profitable if the polyposis records in a number of hospitals were reviewed with this point in mind.
However, this may not be entirely fruitful since I know of one instance where nothing was written in the original record about
pigmentation even though the patient had it. A physician who saw one of my patients passed it off as freckles.
Appreciating your interest in this subject and trusting to hear from you again, I remain