Since its first description, by Leblond1 in 1824, rupture of caseous lymph nodes into air passages has received much attention in the literature (summaries by Barthez and Rilliet,2 Ebert3 and Scobie4). Most of the reports deal with children in apparent good health who are suddenly seized with severe paroxysms of coughing, become deeply cyanotic and die shortly after the onset of the attack. There are a number of striking differences between these cases and my own.
In the course of routine autopsies on 1,656 tuberculous persons I observed perforations into the trachea and the bronchi 22 (1.3 per cent) times. I cannot consider this a true incidence because I do not know how often a progressive cavity develops at the site of an intrapulmonary perforation, the subsequent disease obliterating all signs of the rupture.
The youngest person in my series was 1½ years of age; the oldest, 57 years.
AUERBACH O. PERFORATION OF TUBERCULOUS LYMPH NODES INTO THE TRACHEA AND BRONCHI. Arch Otolaryngol. 1944;39(6):527–532. doi:10.1001/archotol.1944.00680010546013
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