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March 7, 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Chevalier Jackson Bronchoscopic Clinic, Temple University Hospital.

JAMA. 1942;118(10):771-778. doi:10.1001/jama.1942.02830100001001

Bronchiectasis was first described as a disease entity by Laënnec in 1819. For nearly a century, however, positive recognition of the condition was possible only at the autopsy table; its antemortem diagnosis was purely an inferential one. When Chevalier Jackson,1 in 1918, demonstrated that the bronchial caliber in the living patient could be determined roentgenographically by the use of insufflated bismuth powder as a contrast medium, a new era in diagnosis was ushered in. In 1922 another radiopaque substance became available for bronchography with the introduction of iodized oil by Sicard and Forestier.2 Widespread application of contrast roentgenography during the years that followed resulted in a considerable advance in the understanding of the salient points of bronchiectasis. While several features of the lesion continue to form the basis for controversial opinions among clinicians and pathologists, the progressive increase in knowledge has made two facts clearly evident. One is

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