"It is difficult to mistake secondary syphilis of the nose for any other disease when a careful history is taken and a thorough examination is made." That is a "bromid" from one of our recent American text-books. It is unscientific, unpractical and, withal, untrue, for the anamnesis of the syphilitic is notoriously a history of guile, and the thorough clinical (which is evidently to be understood in the above passage) examination is often the ideal rather than the reality, for reasons with which the practical man is quite conversant.
Moreover, if it were difficult to mistake secondary syphilis of the nose for any other disease, it obviously follows that it would likewise be difficult to mistake any other disease of the nose for secondary syphilis, and the fallacy of such an attitude must at once be apparent. Even a negative bacteriologic examination would not be conclusively diagnostic, as everyone is
JERVEY JW. SYPHILITIC HYPERTROPHY OF THE INFERIOR TURBINATES WITH REPORT OF A CASE. JAMA. 1911;LVI(16):1191–1192. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560160033011
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