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May 13, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(19):1064. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450460048011

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One of the earliest facts learned by medical students is that rheumatism and scarlet fever are exceedingly prone to produce secondary changes in the endocardial covering of the valves of the heart, and while physicians universally recognize this fact, which they have learned early in their medical career, we fear that too frequently they fail to recognize the additional fact that other micro-organisms than those which produce these two maladies are not rarely the cause of marked endocardial change.

Recently Thayer and Blumer reported a case in which pure cultures of the gonococcus were found in the valves and blood. Cultures taken during life showed colonies of the gonococcus, which would indicate that the blood-stream affords a favorable course for the transmission of these organisms from one part of the body to another. This fact is all the more interesting because it is well known that while septic infection of

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