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February 1, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(5):310-313. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.62480050024001g

Asthma due to digestive disturbances was first described by Henoch1 under the name of asthma dyspepticum. The original communication of this clinician referred to the occurrence of the condition during acute digestive disturbances in children. His cases all ran under alarming symptoms—the dyspnea being of a high degree and attended with cyanosis and cold extremities —and failed to improve under the ordinary stimulants, but entirely recovered after a treatment directed against the disturbances of the digestive tract. In his paper Henoch accepts Traube's explanation for the dyspeptic origin of asthma, which is as follows: "The gastric irritation causes reflexly a vasomotor contraction of the small arteries, which explains the cold extremities, the imperceptible pulse, the congestion in the venous system and in the right heart, cyanosis, accumulation of carbon dioxid in the blood and as a consequence thereof the frequent dyspneic respiration."

A short while afterwards Silbermann2 described