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June 1977

Pathophysiology: Applied Clinical Physiology

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(6):723. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630180007003

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Today, the unknowns of clinical medicine pose not only the challenge of finding new causes for old diseases, but also the challenge of providing the practicing physician with a better understanding of disease mechanisms. It is through a clearer insight into how altered physiology comes about that we can best cope with our patients' problems. And as a result of this insight, we can apply modern therapy with greater rationality.

As we examine the major problems that are seen by the practicing physician, we find that the causes of a vast array of diseases remain unknown. For example, the precise causes for the three major cardiovascular problems (ie, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and cardiomyopathies) are still undetermined. In the field of pulmonary diseases, the origins of emphysema, bronchiectasis, and asthma remain unknown. And in the gastrointestinal area, the causes of peptic ulcer, cholelithiasis, and pancreatitis still must be elucidated. In endocrinology the

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