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Original Articles
June 1961

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy: Their Relation to Asthma in the Allergic Child

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;73(6):698-704. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740020712015

"The relationship of tonsils and adenoids to bacterial asthma is as disputed today as it was 15 years ago." This statement, made by Gertrude Sobel,1 in 1953, is certainly true today, and it was the confusion over this matter that prompted me to write this paper.

The subject of adenotonsillectomy in relation to allergy was reviewed from 1940 through 1958 and only about a dozen articles were found in the American journals, and only 4 of these in the otolaryngological literature. The otolaryngologist and the pediatrician usually decide if a given child should have an adenotonsillectomy, yet most of the discussion of this subject is left to the allergists. Some of the conclusions of the survey of the literature are noted, and then the results of a special study made by me are brought out in this paper.

Sobel states that there are 3 major thoughts on the subject: