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October 19, 1940


Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California Medical School.

JAMA. 1940;115(16):1357-1358. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.72810420001011

Spontaneous remissions, frequently of several months' duration, are not unknown in subacute bacterial endocarditis but spontaneous recovery is extremely unusual. Recovery is so rare in fact that "the occurrence of authenticated recovery from bacterial endocarditis is highly quesionable" according to Kinsella.1 Nevertheless a recent review of the literature by Capps2 summarized the more authentic cases of recovery. He cited eleven cases he had himself observed with survival for more than five years. However, he had seen no recovery since 1924.

The advent of sulfanilamide in the medical therapeutic armamentarium gave rise to great hopes for successful treatment of this disease. Many disappointments and a few triumphs seem to have resulted as our experiences increase.3 The subject has been evaluated more recently by Spink and Crago,4 who reviewed the literature and reported twelve cases of subacute bacterial endocarditis treated with sulfanilamide. In ten cases the ultimate course

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