Until about five years ago, the nature of this distressing affection was a matter for considerable discussion. The very terms applied to it attest the uncertainty regarding its pathogenesis. Thus it was called bronchial, spasmodic, nervous and idiopathic asthma. The appellations "nervous" and "idiopathic" have reference to its obscure causation, while the terms "bronchial" and "spasmodic" denote rather an attempt to define its pathology, if, indeed, it possesses any definite pathology. By some writers the dyspnea was believed due to spasm, but even among these advocates, complete agreement did not exist. Hyde-Salter, Biermer and others argued in favor of spasm of the bronchioles, while Wintrich and Bamberger stoutly maintained inspiratory spasm of the diaphragm to be the condition responsible for the respiratory distress. On the other hand, Weber contended for a fluxionary hyperemia as the essential nature of the asthma. Then we find the Curschmann spirals or the Charcot-Leyden crystals
BABCOCK RH. THE NATURE AND TREATMENT OF BRONCHIAL ASTHMA. JAMA. 1915;LXIV(26):2115–2118. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570520009002
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