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November 1941

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SPUTUMI. FACTORS DETERMINING VARIATIONS IN PORTIONS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE TRACHEOBRONCHIAL TREE

Am J Dis Child. 1941;62(5):981-990. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000170075006
Abstract

Clinical differences in the sputum in various diseases are well recognized. Their significance is striking in such diseases as postoperative massive collapse of the lung,1 bronchiectasis2 and laryngotracheobronchitis,3 in which the tenacity or viscosity of the secretion plays an important role in bronchial obstruction. A review of the literature in search of accurate data regarding the nature of such differences reveals that the majority of studies deal with the morphologic characteristics or bacteriologic phases of the problem. Studies regarding the leukocytes, lymphocytes and eosinophils, the fibrin or mucin content of sputum and the significance of connective tissue elements are extremely important. Similarly, studies of the bacteria found in sputum as well as observations on the action of bacteria and enzymes in producing physical changes, such as liquefaction,4 aid in understanding the differences noted clinically. However, it seemed justifiable to undertake an investigation to ascertain the physical

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