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October 7, 1983

Obstruction of the Coronary Arteries

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta.

JAMA. 1983;250(13):1763-1765. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340130081040

Herrick carefully leads his readers paragraph by paragraph to the conclusions he wishes to teach. Accordingly, I will discuss his classic article paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraph 1.—  Herrick sets the stage by pointing out that the prevailing view in 1912 was that sudden occlusion of a coronary artery meant death in a few minutes. This view was supported by autopsy studies, by experimental work on dogs, and by famous physicians of the time. Herrick also points out that several famous persons believed that the coronary arteries were end arteries and were not capable of anastomosing with other vessels.Herrick then states that such concepts are incorrect.

Paragraph 2.—  Herrick emphasizes the importance of sclerosis of the coronary arteries and lists all the complications of the disease that we know today, including chronic myocarditis, which we now call "ischemic cardiomyopathy." He points out that disease of the left anterior descending coronary