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June 18, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(25):1449-1452. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.72440770017001e

What is nasal catarrh? I believe the only comprehensive definition is: A pathologic change in the system or in the structure of the nares, accompanied by altered function of the mucous membrane. Nor do I place the constitutional before the local causes on account of their greater importance and frequency. On the contrary, the large majority of cases depend upon local causes and are amenable to local treatment. My definition includes a great variety of conditions, and for the very good reason that catarrh, so-called, necessarily includes a great variety of conditions or diseases requiring the most diverse measures, medicinal and operative, for their successful treatment.

It is a popular fallacy that catarrh runs into, or predisposes to, tubercular diseases. On the contrary, Bosworth ("Diseases of the Nose and Throat," Vol. I, page 99) ridicules the idea of a catarrhal diathesis, and claims that catarrhal inflammation always remains catarrhal, producing