The etiology of infantile atrophy has long been one of the most mooted questions in pediatrics. A large number of theories have been advanced, but none of them has been widely accepted. Metabolism investigations1 have shown the loss of nitrogen and fat; but the mere registration of these facts gives us no clue as to the causes which lie beneath these phenomena. The theory of acid intoxication advanced by Czerny and Keller2 has not been generally accepted. Even if we grant that atrophic infants are in a state of acidosis, it remains to be proved that the acidosis is primary and not secondary to the inanition, which, as is now believed, may produce metabolism conditions like those observed in acidosis. The theory that intermediary metabolism is disturbed is an assumption which does not tell us the fundamental cause, nor the location, nor the nature of the disease. Anatomic
WENTWORTH AH. THE CAUSE OF INFANTILE ATROPHYDEDUCED FROM A STUDY OF SECRETIN IN NORMAL AND ATROPHIC INFANTS.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(3):204–210. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320030008002c
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