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Sept 11, 1967

The Pathology of Emphysema

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1967;201(11):897. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110123056

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In England, a damp cool land where smokers breathe polluted air, the causes of emphysema remain in doubt. Yet the disease disables and kills more Englishmen than tuberculosis, pneumonia, and lung cancer. Perhaps because of this doubt and its consequences, English physicians rank among the most astute students of chronic respiratory diseases.

Dr. Reid, a pathologist at the Institute of Diseases of the Chest in London, previously has written widely in British publications about her work on pathological, radiological, and functional aspects of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. She feels strongly that emphysema is not a single disease but a complex of diseases with one common feature—increased size of air spaces distal to the terminal bronchiole.

She proposed two categories of emphysema—one with and one without airway block. In doing so, she introduces the concept of function. Her gift for combining pathology with physiology lightens some chapters where readers might otherwise