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March 6, 1948


Author Affiliations


From the Evans Memorial and Massachusetts Memorial hospitals and the Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1948;136(10):665-668. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890270007002

The word allergy is used today to signify two rather different concepts. In the narrower sense the word is used to designate the field of diagnosis and treatment of those diseases, especially asthma, hay fever, eczema and urticaria, that follow or are believed to follow exposure to certain substances. In a broader sense the word allergy denotes in addition a variety of hypersensitive states arising in infections or as a result of exposure to drugs, antibiotics and the numerous preparations of plant or animal origin used in the modern practice of medicine. In this latter sense the field of allergy is indeed a wide one.

A large number of important diseases are being considered or studied from the point of view of a possible allergic mechanism, many of which lie entirely outside the province of the great majority of practicing allergists. By way of illustration, there may be mentioned glomerulonephritis,

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