The disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) went through many different stages of classification before reaching the modern criteria reflecting our current understanding of its pathogenesis. In 1872, the Viennese dermatologist Moriz Kaposi, MD, published a paper, “New Contributions to Knowledge of Lupus Erythematosus,” which provided a significant leap forward in the characterization of this condition.1,2
Explore this issueOctober 2018
Also by this Author
Born Moriz Kohn, Dr. Kaposi changed his name in 1871 following his conversion to Catholicism, in reference to his birth town Kaposvár, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. According to JAMA Dermatology, “It is still debated why he changed his surname; it is unlikely to have been due to the pressures of anti-Semitism because Kaposi was not an opportunist, and at that time he was well established in his career. According to his own words, he changed his surname to avoid confusion with five other physicians named similarly in the Vienna School of Medicine.”3,4
Dr. Kaposi’s careful case studies in the 1872 paper provided key descriptions of SLE that remain relevant to this day. Moreover, his work serves as a reminder of the way we still strive to lump and split disease states, hoping to improve classification (and ultimately treatment) of rheumatic diseases.