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May 1945


Author Affiliations

Teaching Fellow in Pathology BOSTON

From the Mallory Institute of Pathology of the Boston City Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1945;75(5):279-283. doi:10.1001/archinte.1945.00210290002001

Brain abscess is a relatively unrecognized complication of congenital heart disease, so little known that only rarely does one find reference to it in any standard textbook of medicine. This obscurity must result in part at least from the scarcity of published cases, only 23 having been reported to date. Hanna1 in 1941 collected 17 cases from the literature and added 6 more of his own. Of this entire series, in only 3 cases, 1 reported by Ingham2 and 2 reported by Wechsler and Kaplan,3 was the disease correctly diagnosed prior to death and surgical drainage of the abscess attempted. In all probability, this apparent obscurity and paucity of reported cases represent the failure either of their recognition or of their publication rather than the rarity of their occurrence.

Three cases of brain abscess associated with septal defects of the heart coming to autopsy at the Mallory

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