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Medical News
July 6, 1964

Surgical or Medical Management of Asthma?

JAMA. 1964;189(1):A31. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070010091045

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Abstract

Is glomectomy effective in the control of bronchial asthma, or is the remission of symptoms often associated with this technique the result, primarily, of psychological suggestion?

This question divided participants in a symposium on glomectomy at the Annual AMA Convention.

John R. Phillips, MD, Houston, and Wilford B. Neptune, MD, Boston, reported good results with glomectomy in patients who did not respond to a program of medical management for bronchial asthma.

Their separate reports were challenged by Maurice S. Segal, MD, professor of medicine at Tufts University and Gustav J. Beck, MD, New York.

Segal maintained that the psychological factor in asthma could account for the great discrepancy between the results observed by himself in 15 cases, all failures, and the results reported by Neptune and Phillips.

"Patients with chronic diseases, such as bronchial asthma or emphysema are well known to be unusually sensitive to emotional factors," Segal said. "They

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