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February 14, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(7):540. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560320040025

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To the physician of a past generation the term "rheumatism" implied an affection or group of affections characterized by certain common qualities, the chief of which were pain, an inclination to attack the joints and muscles, and a dependence on disordered metabolism. From this rather vague group certain diseases have been definitely set off as depending on specific causes. Among these the action of the gonococcus and streptococcus is now generally recognized. It was due to the persistent labor of the late Antonin Poncet that the dependence of a large group of cases on tuberculosis became recognized. He taught that a considerable number of cases of arthritis were due to tuberculosis in which no tubercles could be found, and in some cases the bacilli were only sparsely represented or might be absent. In the latter case the inflammation was attributed to the toxin of tuberculosis. Other observers have confirmed the

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