An extreme deformity of the spine is generally acknowledged to be a handicap both in the physical and in the social life of the person afflicted. That the resulting distortion of the thoracic organs may have fatal consequences has not been widely recognized in the English-speaking world. For many years continental writers, even in textbooks, have described this syndrome, which has been termed "pulmonocardiac failure."
Chapman, Dill and Graybiel,1 of the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory, recently reviewed the subject of pulmonocardiac failure and were able to find 126 fatal cases recorded in the literature. They reported the clinical and laboratory data in 12 cases of their own, in 4 of which the patients died. In their investigation they paid particular attention to the ill effects on respiratory function.
My interest in this subject was aroused by encountering 2 instances of this condition within a period of two months during the course
KERWIN AJ. PULMONOCARDIAC FAILURE AS A RESULT OF SPINAL DEFORMITY: REPORT OF FIVE CASES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;69(4):560–572. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200160011002
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