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September 7, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(10):855-856. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530100043006

Since the introduction of the serum treatment of diphtheria the question of the relationship between this therapeutic procedure and postdiphtheric paralysis has been frequently agitated. As is well known, many have charged to the antitoxin treatment a share in the responsibility for the sequel, some claiming that the paralysis is a direct consequence of the deleterious action of the serum, and it has even been asserted that this sequel is more common in patients treated with antidiphtheric serum than in those treated otherwise.

Rosenau and Anderson,1 with the excellent facilities afforded in their laboratory, attacked the problem from the experimental side, first presenting the views of clinical statisticians to the effect that antitoxin treatment does not make paralysis more liable to ensue. Guineapigs were chosen as subjects for their tests, and paralysis apparently identical with that seen in human beings was induced by a partially neutralized mixture of diphtheria

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