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January 6, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(1):15-17. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860010017004

The term "prephthisical tuberculosis" is applied here to all tuberculous lesions in the chest which precede the development of chronic pulmonary tuberculosis; i. e., phthisis.

General practitioners throughout the country are now facing a new tuberculosis problem; namely, that of the "prephthisical" lesion. Bearers of such lesions have been discovered in vast numbers by x-ray surveys conducted at selective boards, preemployment examinations in many industrial plants, and so on. Most of these newly discovered so-called cases of tuberculosis will have to remain under the care of local general practitioners, who must familiarize themselves with this puzzling phase in the evolution of pulmonary tuberculosis.

The high incidence of pulmonary lesions among apparently healthy persons has been revealed only in comparatively recent years since the x-ray survey has been introduced as a case finding method on a large scale. The role of "prephthisical" lesions in the evolution of pulmonary tuberculosis is still