Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 120

Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF, introducing the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 120

Question 1

What rheumatological condition does Rembrandt’s Scholar have?


Reveal the funtabulous answer


He has a pinched nose, tight mouth, pale face with a malar flush, his hands are puffy and the joints on his right thumbs are swollen. Could this be Scleroderma? [Reference]

Question 2

When Rachmaninov became ill he looked at his hands and said:

My dear hands….Farewell, my poor hands

Were his hands the key to his suffering? Let the differentials begin!

Reveal the funtabulous answer


Potentially Marfan’s syndrome. However he did not exhibit any other feature of Marfan’s such as scoliosis, pectus excavatum, eye or cardiac problems. Other potential causes ofarachnodactyly include:

  • Beal syndrome (congenital contractural arachnodactyly)
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Homocystinuria
  • Strickler syndrome
  • Sphintzen-Goldberg syndrome.

However, there is no indication that other family members had large hand spans therefore ruling out familial aracnodactyly.

Could it be pachydermoperiostitis?

  • Unlikely as he had no digital clubbing or hypertrophic skin changes.

Acromegaly is an alternative diagnosis, he certainly developed course facial features over the years, suffered from depression. He had to stop a concert mid-way due to pain in his hands (could this have been a carpal tunnel syndrome).

Rachmaninov died due to a rapidly progressive melanoma which has a higher incidence in acromegaly, or maybe he just had big hands.

Question 3

Which syndrome is associated with hypersexuality, loss of fear and inability to recognise close relatives?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Klüver–Bucy syndrome

Secondary to damage of the anterior temporal lobe.

Cases have resulted from lobectomies, meningoencephalitis, herpes-simplex encephalitis and stroke

Question 4

Collapse therapy was used in the treatment of which infectious disease?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Chronic pulmonary tuberculosis

The lung was collapsed and the pleural cavity filled as to limit re-expansion.

Question 5

You are just back from the Battle of Waterloo and in the fight lost some teeth. Where would you get replacement teeth from?

Reveal the funtabulous answer

Your dead friends

In 1815 dentistry was in its infancy and it was common to make dentures from human teeth.

Demand was great with the high sugar diets and supply was limited. That was until a great battle and it was all too tempting for dentists, grave robbers and locals alike. [Reference]

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Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five

Dr Neil Long BMBS FACEM FRCEM FRCPC. Emergency Physician at Kelowna hospital, British Columbia. Loves the misery of alpine climbing and working in austere environments (namely tertiary trauma centres). Supporter of FOAMed, lifelong education and trying to find that elusive peak performance.

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