History of Science and Technology/19th century medical term


Dear Carolyn,

I have found a death record for 1870 which lists the cause of death as "chronic leystitis." By searching online, I can find six references to people dying of this cause, but in all the online lists of archaic medical terminology, I cannot find any definition for "leystitis." Do you know what it is, or how I might look it up?

Hi Stephen--Medicine is outside my area of expertise, and I've never heard of 'leystitis', but I did have a search for the term, first in Google Scholar and then in medical journals and databases available online through my university, with no result.  I suspect, as you may have already seen when you tried searching, that this is a misreading of the word 'cystitis', which would have been handwritten on the original documents; it's easy to see that a 'c' may have looked like an 'le' to a careless typist.  I hope this helps--Carolyn

History of Science and Technology

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Carolyn Dougherty


I can probably answer most general questions about the history of science, technology and engineering from ancient to current; if I don't know a specific answer I can probably refer a questioner to an appropriate source. I have done original research in the history of computing and in British science and engineering in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.


I am a PhD student at the University of York, writing about the carrying trade in the 18th century; my previous work at the university includes the early history of plate railways. I have taught courses in the history of science and engineering at York and other universities, and have presented several papers on various subjects in this field at academic conferences. I am also a practicing civil engineer.

BA--Berkeley, MSc--Berkeley, MA--York, currently working on a PhD at York.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.