Georgina Hogg

Georgina Ruth Hogg (1916 - 2002)

Georgina Ruth Hogg (1916 – 2002) was a Canadian pathologist.

She was a senior pathologist and later director of surgical pathology at the Winnipeg General Hospital/Health Sciences Centre. Her scientific work earned her a national reputation as a consultant in surgical pathology. She was a great teacher, mentor and role model for undergraduate medical students and young pathologists.

Eponymously remembered for her work in describing the multiple benign skin tumors (fibrofolliculoma) of Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome in 1977


Biography
  • Born 22 August 1916 in Landis, Saskatchewan, Canada 
  • 1936 – BSc, University of Saskatchewan
  • 1945 – MD, University of Manitoba
  • 1953 – Lecturer in Pathology, University of Manitoba
  • Senior pathologist and later director of surgical pathology at the Winnipeg General Hospital and Health Sciences Centre
  • Associate Professor, then Professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba
  • 2001 – Established the Georgina R. Hogg Endowment Fund at the University of Manitoba Libraries to provide electronic and published resources in perpetuity at the Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library
  • Died 21 April 2002

Medical Eponyms
Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (1977)

Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome is characterized by multiple benign skin tumors (fibrofolliculoma), particularly on the face, neck, and upper chest. Named after three Canadian physicians: dermatologist – Arthur Robert Birt (1906-1995); pathologist – Georgina Ruth Hogg (1916-2002); and endocrinologist W. James Dubé.

In this report, we describe a study of 15 adult members of a kindred of 70 persons with a previously unrecognized hereditary pilar hamartoma involving both epithelial and fibrous tissue. These multiple small dome shaped skin tumors appeared when each patient was about the age of 25 years and in association with trichodiscomas and acrochordons. H. Pinkus (unpublished data) has suggested that this type of pilar hamartoma could appropriately be named fibrofolliculoma.

Birt, Hogg and Dubé 1977
Fibrofolliculomas of Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome 1977
Fibrofolliculomas consisting of multiple 2- to 4-mm, yellowish-white, smooth, opaque, dome-shaped tumors. 1977

Major Publications

Controversies

The autosomal dominant inherited syndromes of Hornstein-Knickenberg (HKS) and Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHDS) are both characterized clinically by the presence of multiple flesh coloured papules of the skin. Hornstein and Knickenberg termed the peripheral lesions of HKS ‘perifollicular fibromas’ whilst Birt, Hogg and Dubé proposed the name ‘fibrofolliculoma’.

The nosological dilemma is twofold:

  • Many authors believe that perifollicular fibromas and fibrofolliculomas are one and the same, and not a reason to suppose that the condition described by Birt, Hogg and Dubé (1977) was a new disorder from that originally described by Hornstein and Knickenberg (1975)
  • The importance of ‘extracutaneous cancer proneness’, was postulated in all three papers by Hornstein, but not in the 1977 of Birt, Hogg and Dubé. Numerous authors have corroborated the association between multiple perifollicular fibromas and colonic polyps/cancer as Hornstein and Knickenberg suggested.

Prof Dr Rudolf Happle of the Department of Dermatology, at the University of Freiburg staunchly moved for a name change in 2012, and again in 2020

Birt et al. did neither discover nor describe any new cutaneous disorder heralding proclivity to extracutaneous cancer. Hence, the term ‘Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome’ represents a bold distortion of history and should no longer be used to describe the disorder specified by Hornstein and Knickenberg…it is not justified to combine the names of the discoverers of a new genodermatosis heralding extracutaneous cancer proneness with those claiming that they had detected a quite different hereditary skin disorder characterized by ‘fibrofolliculomas’, without any proclivity to extracutaneous cancer…Today, time has come to put this right. The syndrome should be named after the original authors, Hornstein and Knickenberg

Happle 2020

References

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Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and informatics. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | vocortex |

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