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April 29, 1968

The Many Faces of Emphysema

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Kan

JAMA. 1968;204(5):406. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140180056026

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To the Editor:—  Will we ever agree on a single term to describe the diffuse lung damage associated with cigarette smoking?Here are some terms in current use:EmphysemaChronic emphysemaPulmonary emphysemaDestructive emphysemaChronic emphysema and bronchitisChronic nonspecific lung diseaseChronic obstructive lung diseaseChronic obstructive airway diseaseChronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseChronic obstructive ventilatory diseaseChronic obstructive bronchopulmonary diseaseIrreversible general obstructive lung diseaseObstructive ventilatory disease of the lungSome authors will use one of these terms for one disease and a second term for another disease. If so, it is difficult to find uniformity among the workers in this field as to where the line is drawn.This disease, whatever we choose to call it, is most certainly important. Let us hope that authors and editors will come to some sort of agreement on naming it. "Emphysema," alone, will certainly not do. There are