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June 15, 1907


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(24):2024-2027. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25220500030002f

However much may be said of the tonsils as part of the system of the body's defense against bacterial invasion, the fact remains that this defensive function is easily overcome, especially in childhood, and once seriously interfered with it frequently does not regain its normal condition. Thenceforth it may be a positive menace to the body through its ready susceptibility to infection, or by the ease with which bacteria pass through its covering into the lymphatic channels beyond without marked reaction on the part of the organ. It is not my purpose to discuss whether the hypertrophied tonsil is a pathologic or physiologic result, whether it is Nature's method of increasing the defensive process or whether it is a pathologic hyperplasia from chronic and low-grade inflammation. It will be necessary to know far more about the function of the tonsil than we do now before these things can be decided.

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