Photographic illustrations and X-ray pictures in descriptions of rare diseases in the exemplary Danish and Polish medical literature

Michał M. Skoczylas (Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, Poland)

Panel: Production of knowledge and knowledge practices in rare diseases

Abstract: Danish and Polish medical literature of both scientific and educational character presents rare diseases in a wide range. The analysis of selected books (for instance Kopyść Z., Kompendium zespołów i rzadkich chorób dziecięcych, 1984, and Schiøtz P. O., Skovby F., Praktisk pædiatri, 2006) and journals (for example Ugeskrift for Laeger and Polski Przegląd Radiologii) gives an overview of the usage of photographic illustrations and X-ray pictures in descriptions of various rare diseases (e.g. of Ellis – van Creveld syndrome, Caffey – Silverman disease, fibrous dysplasia of bone, metastases of penile cancer to lungs, amoebiasis, toxocarosis) that shows an important significance in both scientific and educational aspects by adding information in a practical extra-language way. Illustrating of changes characteristic for particular rare diseases did not apply to the most of publications as many doctoral dissertations prepared at the University of Copenhagen in the studied period of 1980-1985, but articles in journals written by their authors and cited in these dissertations were illustrated in higher degree. Microscopic pictures, macroscopic body photographs and X-rays alike are valuable complements of medical texts on rare diseases, especially towards their rarity.