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  1. J M S Pearce
  1. 304 Beverley Road, Anlaby, Hull HU10 7BG, UK;

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    Friedrich Daniel von Recklinghausen (1833–1910) was born in Gütersloh, Westphalia, and graduated in Berlin in 1855. In 1881, as a tribute to Rudolf Virchow’s 25th year Jubilee, he wrote his classical article on neurofibromatosis.1 The first patient, a 55 year old woman who was admitted because of lung haemorrhages, died a few hours after admission to the hospital and was autopsied. Skin tumours had been present since the age of 3. At autopsy the following findings were noted:

    “Innumerable nodules, almost over the entire outer skin layer (Plate 1), for the most part on stalks, while others sat on broad bases and were mostly simple spheres in all possible sizes. The larger ones, however, were especially polypous, up to 5 cm long and 4 cm thick, all covered with completely intact, almost smooth skin; although on the sacrum there was a flatly pressed, mushroom-shaped nodule, lightly ulcerated on its surface, while another small ulcerated nodule appeared on the left side …

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