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February 10, 1923


JAMA. 1923;80(6):402-403. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640330038019

The foremost symptom of bronchial asthma and the one that most clearly characterizes it is the paroxysmal dyspnea associated with a disturbance of the bronchioles. The offending stenosis of these respiratory channels may come about in several ways: There may be obstruction caused by secretion from the bronchial glands, swelling and exudation of the bronchial mucosa, or spasm of the bronchial smooth muscular tissue. Since the suggestion has been made that asthma is a manifestation of anaphylaxis, which is characterized in certain species by bronchiospasm, the latter possibility has received a prominence in most considerations of the subject which it never had before. However important hypersusceptibility to protein may be in the causation of asthma, the thesis that anaphylaxis will explain every case can scarcely be defended at the present time.

Recently, Huber and Koessler1 of the University of Chicago have focused attention on other phenomena than the respiratory