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October 22, 1927


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1927;89(17):1415-1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690170039012

Next to treatment, prognosis most intimately concerns the patient; and yet, of all the subdivisions of medical study, prognosis lends itself least to scientific precision.

In the case of tuberculosis, one of the chief reasons for this is the lack of sufficiently numerous data, gathered after observation sufficiently prolonged. When the active stage has been estimated as lasting from five to twenty years on the average, it is not hard to explain the deficiencies.

The general practitioner, who may follow patients from birth to death even in the third and fourth decades, has material at hand for valuable observations but usually lacks time or inclination to put them on record.

For some years, certain general conclusions as to the prognosis of tuberculosis in early life have received wide acceptance. These may be epitomized from an article by Nassau and Zweig.1

When infection occurs in the first three months of