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Article
March 1954

HISTOLOGICAL TEST OF TONSILLAR ACTIVITY BASED ON THE RETICULOEPITHELIAL INTERPLAY

Author Affiliations

BOSTON
From the Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School and the Department of Otolaryngology, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1954;59(3):263-281. doi:10.1001/archotol.1954.00710050275001
Abstract

INTRODUCTION  ONE HUNDRED years have passed since von Kölliker (1852) discovered the real character of the tonsils and placed them in the group of lymphatic organs. Previously tonsils were considered to be "conglomerated glands." It took 20 more years before opposition to the new concept broke down.From that time knowledge about the histological structure of these organs accumulated rapidly, as did theories regarding their function—hemopoietic and lymphopoietic, protecting, filtering, storing, endocrine, immunological, and others. They were propounded vigorously by their respective initiators; others opposed them with equal energy.These theories formed the basis of a long series of tonsillar "tests." Such tests were sorely needed to guide clinical action, especially indications for surgical removal; in a sense, they took the place of biopsy. The latter has long been recognized as being without value, giving only a picture of the momentary status of the organ. This arises from the circumstance

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