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November 1929

EFFECT OF TONSILLECTOMY AND OF ADENOIDECTOMY ON DIPHTHERIA IMMUNITY

Am J Dis Child. 1929;38(5):929-934. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930110028004
Abstract

Tonsillectomy has been advocated not only to relieve symptoms referable to diseased tonsils themselves, but also as a means of protection against subsequent infections. The evidence concerning the protection that tonsillectomy may afford against diphtheria consists chiefly in statements by experienced clinicians that they have rarely observed this disease in children whose tonsils have been completely removed.

In 1916, Tomlin1 of Indianapolis suggested that tonsillectomy might reduce the incidence of diphtheria by eliminating the portal of entry and also by reducing the number of bacilli carriers. In 1917, Boot2 of Chicago observed that "there is no doubt that children who have had tonsillectomy done are less susceptible to diphtheria." In the same year, Perry3 of St. Louis wrote as follows: "Our city doctors in charge of the isolation department tell me that they have never found a case of diphtheria in a patient who has had the

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