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February 15, 1965

Most Thoracic Surgeons Oppose Glomectomy In Asthma Management

JAMA. 1965;191(7):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080070103045

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The etiology of the disease is obscure, although psychological factors are apparently involved; the physiological basis of the operation is clouded; and the results reported are conflicting.

What does the surgeon do?

In the case of glomectomy (carotid body removal) for management of bronchial asthma, a national survey of thoracic surgeons shows an overwhelming opinion against the procedure.

Describing the subject as "quite controversial," C. Thomas Read, MD, of Phoenix, Ariz, sent questionnaires to some 400 members of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. He received 226 replies.

Each was asked: "Do you subscribe to the theories and principles of glomectomy in the treatment of asthma?"

One hundred and sixty responded with a terse or categorical "no." Another 33 answered only that they had no experience with the procedure, and did not elaborate as to whether or not they agreed with the principles of the operation. Fifteen others were undecided.

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