BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1486 (Published 03 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1486

Yellow nail syndrome, which consists of dystrophic nails with a yellowish discoloration, along with lymphoedema and sometimes respiratory abnormalities such as pleural effusion, bronchiectasis, and sinusitis, is rare and poorly understood. A retrospective case series (Chest 2008;134:375-81, doi:10.1378/chest.08-0137) provides a few answers: the condition is acquired rather than familial, and the yellow nails may return to normal if the respiratory problems are treated successfully. Pathogenesis, however, remains a mystery.

It’s 30 years since the first study linked high birth weight with an increased risk of a brain tumour in childhood—but later investigations found conflicting results. Meta-analysis shows that the discrepancies can be explained by differences between the major histological subtypes of primary brain tumours. Although the risk of both astrocytomas and medulloblastomas rose with increasing birth weight, no association was found for ependymoma (American Journal of Epidemiology 2008;168:366-73, doi:10.1093/aje/kwn144).

Book 9 of the Iliad concerns the unsuccessful attempt by Agamemnon’s …

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