Book Reviews
October 1944

Pathology and Therapy of Rheumatic Fever.

Author Affiliations

By Leopold Lichtwitz, M.D., lately Chief of the Medical Division of the Montefiore Hospital, and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Columbia University. Foreword by William J. Maloney, M.D. Edited by William Chester, M.D. Price, $4.75. Pp. 225, with 69 illustrations. New York: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1943.

Am J Dis Child. 1944;68(4):292-293. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1944.02020100064021

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This book arrives on the scene when rheumatic fever has become a public health problem of growing importance in both civil and military life. Dr. Lichtwitz dwells particularly on the pathology and therapy of the disease. He has made an exhaustive study of the literature, and the bibliography at the end of each chapter is extensive.

The author argues that rheumatic fever is a manifestation of allergy, and his thesis is summed up in the following quotation: "The pathologic basis of this disease is the allergic sensitization of certain mesenchymatous tissues." He contends that the disease is one of defense, not of invasion, and that it has its counterpart in serum sickness. Lack of defense is termed anergy and its excess hypergy. The mechanism of hypergy is dependent on the allergic sensitization of the person, which, in turn, is influenced by antigens of bacterial origin. The author recognizes the hemolytic

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