The original descriptions of melanoma of the hand, foot, vulva, and metastatic melanoma to the heart and bowel were by Jean Cruveilhier in his Anatomie Pathologique du Corps Humains published between 1829 and 1842. Cruveilhier's descriptions predate publications currently ascribed as being the first case reports of these melanomas. Cruveilhier's atlas of pathology also contains the original descriptions of multiple sclerosis, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, and gastric ulcers.
Cruveilhier's work is well known to book collectors, but his melanoma discoveries have not been cited since Pemberton in 1858. Cruveilhier's case reports are reviewed in addition to a discussion of their significance and historical contexts. Current melanoma scholars will appreciate this lost piece of melanoma history with its early historical discoveries and magnificent illustrations. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 2149, 1999.)