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December 10, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(24):1796. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500240062013

The view has been put forward that under normal conditions digitalis strengthens the left heart by causing maximum dilatation of the left coronary artery and at the same time enfeebles the activity of the right heart by causing contraction of the right coronary artery. Accordingly, it is suggested that a deviation from such conditions may be considered as indicative of the existence of some disorder causing increased activity on the part of the right ventricle as a result of diminished contractility of the right coronary artery. This, it is pointed out, may be brought about by the administration of digitalis in the presence of disease of the right coronary artery, of which therefore the phenomena described may be considered as diagnostic. A case illustrative of this relation was recently reported by Prof. T. von Openchowsky1 to the Society for Internal Medicine at Berlin. The patient was a man with