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February 1965

Gas Gangrene Infection, Antitoxin, and Serum Neuritis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Madison General Hospital (Dr. Crocker) and from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals (Resident in Orthopedics: Dr. Cunningham).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(2):173-175. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860140053011

PERIODICALLY, articles have appeared in the literature presenting case reports of horse serum neuritis.1-13 Most of these cases have been due to tetanus antitoxin, but seven other types of antitoxin have been implicated, including pneumococcus, meningococcus, scarlet fever, diphtheria, tuberculosis, typhoid, and Staphylococcus aureus.13 The first case of serum neuritis reported in the American literature was Richardson's in 1917. He chose to designate this as tetanus toxin neuritis rather than serum neuritis which apparently had not yet been reported in this country.14 Kennedy was the first to recognize this entity in the American literature with his six case reports in 1929, and he cited previous reports in the French literature dating from 1908.15 The most complete reviews of the literature are those of Doyle in 1933,6 Bennett in 1939,2 Plitman in 1954,10 and Bardenwerper in 1962.1

Clinical Picture  When serum neuritis occurs,