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January 21, 1893

THE ETIOLOGY OF LARYNGISMUS STRIDULUS.Read in the Section of Laryngology and Otology, at the Forty-third Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Detroit, Mich., June, 1892.

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1893;XX(3):62-64. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420300008001c

Scarcely any affection has excited so much speculation in regard to its cause as laryngismus stridulus. The first definite theory regarding its etiology was put forth by Kopp in 1830, who asserted that it was caused by the enlargement of the thymus gland. In 1836 Ley maintained that it was always due to "paralysis of the abductor muscles arising from the pressure of strumous, bronchial or cervical glands on the recurrent or pneumogastric nerves." Marshall Hall ascribed laryngismus to a reflex cause, believing that it resulted from irritation in some other part of the body; and this theory was supported in 1849 by Reed, who observed that the spasm was frequently caused by retained meconium, fæcal masses and worms.

These opinions, however, were not universally accepted, for it was generally believed, as Mackenzie observes, that the weight of evidence pointed to the practical acceptance of molecular changes in the nerve