One of the remarkable discoveries of medical science has been penicillin, and probably the best example of its value is in the treatment of subacute bacterial endocarditis. Any doubt that there was reason to dread the disease will be quickly dispelled if one reads the report of the cases from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.1 From 1913 to 1937 there were 237 cases with no recovery. Almost universally the experience with subacute bacterial endocarditis has been the same, although Libman and Friedberg2 reported 4 per cent spontaneous cures.
Up to four years ago subacute bacterial endocarditis was considered an incurable disease; the percentage of cures has been changed, and at present over 90 per cent of patients with the disease recover when sufficient penicillin is used. When one meditates on the fact that the early reports stated that penicillin was ineffectual in the treatment of subacute bacterial endocarditis, the
REULING JR, CRAMER C. SUBACUTE BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS: Report of Two Cases. JAMA. 1948;137(9):785–787. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.82890430001008a
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