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April 25, 1885


JAMA. 1885;IV(17):464-465. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390920016004

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Such is the question which for years has proved a veritable apple of discord among pathologists and clinicians, and Virchow has recently cast it anew into the midst of the Berlin Medical Society. The name of this renowned pathologist lends such weight to his opinions that we subjoin some abstracts from his paper, as reported in the Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, No. 9, March 2, 1885, in order that our readers may know where he stands in regard to this important subject.

In 1847, he announced the proposition that, if one would divide the affections of the mucous membranes into comprehensive groups, he must distinguish three definite and distinct anatomical conditions, viz.: catarrh, croup, and diphtheria.

Diphtheria is a process of mortification, seated in the substance of the tissue itself, and therefore creates no false membrane upon the surface. Yet, when apparently throwing out an exudation, it does so only by

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