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November 1955


Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University College of Medicine, and Jefferson Davis and Veterans Administration Hospitals.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(5):683-692. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250160125010

THE TERM primary pulmonary abscess is used to connote a disease state within the lung which results from acute necrotizing bacterial pneumonia. Liquefaction, sloughing, and cavity formation within the lung occur as a result of this pneumonia. The work of David T. Smith1 and others has shown that the spirochetes, fusiform bacilli, vibrios, and anerobic Gram-positive cocci are responsible for this infection. Their experiments indicate that singly these organisms are incapable of producing the disease but that in symbiosis they readily do so. They are found in abundance about the teeth and gums of patients with advanced peridontal disease. If they are inhaled as aggregates of bacteria into the lung alveoli or small bronchioles, they are capable of producing an abscess. Bronchial or bronchiolar obstruction is considered by many to be an essential part of the pathogenesis of this disease.

In the present study those pulmonary abscesses secondary to