Erythema nodosum, dermatitis contusiformis, or nodular fever of Lendon, named by the French physician Robert Willan in 1799, has been generally considered in continental Europe to be of tuberculous origin. In England and in this country it has also been found to be associated with streptococcic sore throat, acute endocarditis, influenza, measles, chickenpox, ulcerative colitis, lymphogranuloma venereum, gonococcic septicemia, abscesses about the roots of the teeth, and following the ingestion of iodides. Many consider the condition a specific acute infectious disease. Moon and Strauss1 described an organism of the genus Corynebacterium which they thought responsible for the disorder. Rosenow described a diphtheroid organism which he isolated from several patients and which the Philadelphia workers thought might be identical with their own.
Spink2 recently studied ten patients with erythema nodosum and reported on 133 patients treated at the Boston City Hospital. Skin lesions were excised from patients with the