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July 17, 1897


Author Affiliations

Clinical Lecturer, Diseases of the Chest, Medical Department of the Western University of Pennsylvania; Assistant Physician to the West Pennsylvania Hospital. PITTSBURG, PA.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(3):111-113. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440290017001g

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Evidence has been recently accumulating, which goes to show that tuberculosis is not only a universal but the universal disease. Postmortem examinations made in recent years, point to the probability that 25 per cent. is much too low an estimate of the total number of infections.

Schlenker made one hundred consecutive postmortem examinations on children and adults for this special purpose. He examined every part of the body, especially the cervical and mesenteric glands and apices of the lungs, and found 65 per cent. tuberculous. Caseous and calcareous degenerations were considered tuberculous but simple fibroid adhesions were not so considered. In over 4,000 successive postmortem examinations made in Breslau in 1893, one-third of the bodies contained gross tuberculous lesions. If the microscope had been used, probably enough lesions could have been discovered to make 2,500 infections.

Turning to pulmonary tuberculosis, Babes found lesions of the bronchial gland in more than

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